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03/17/10 2:35 PM EST

Strasburg talks pitching with fans

Nats phenom reveals idols, season goals in live chat

Stephen Strasburg: Good afternoon. Thanks to everyone who has joined us today. I look forward to chatting with you and answering your questions.

andy2010: Who are your pitching idols?

Strasburg: When I was younger, I really enjoyed watching Jake Peavy and Trevor Hoffman pitch. Also, Kevin Brown and Jason Schmidt.

krickeys: Stephen, what are your NCAA Final Four picks?

Strasburg: I like Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and San Diego State.

krickeys: Have you been the victim of any rookie pranks yet?

Strasburg: Not yet. We have a pretty good group of veterans on this club, and they have gone out of their way to make me and the other young players feel like we belong.

MannyAt: Stephen, what is the hardest clocked pitch you have ever thrown? Was it in a game or practice?

Strasburg: I was once clocked at 102 mph in a game. But there is much more to pitching than just velocity. To me, location is just as important. If you don't locate your pitches in the majors, these hitters are skilled enough to hit 102 mph out of the park.

krickeys: What are your goals this season?

Strasburg: My goal is to be a better baseball player when the season ends. I have a great opportunity to learn from a lot of brilliant baseball minds [Pudge as an example], and I want to soak it all up and continue to improve each and every season.

cqsick: Have you bonded with the other pitchers this spring?

Strasburg: I've bonded with a lot of the guys ... [John] Lannan and [Garrett] Mock, just to name a few. They have all been really welcoming and have helped me out a lot.

krickeys: What songs are on your iPod right now?

Strasburg: Good question. I like a little bit of everything. I have a couple thousand songs, so I can't name all of them. But I like country, rock and a little bit of rap.

sommerset: What, in your opinion, is the most important stat for a pitcher?

Strasburg: I'd say wins and losses. Bottom line, it doesn't matter how low your ERA is, as long as you have one more run than your opponent at the end of the game, you have done your job in helping the team win the ballgame.

mayes4nats: How many times have you batted and what were the results?

Strasburg: Well, pitchers don't hit in college, so I haven't stepped into the batter's box in a game since high school. I am looking forward to working with the coaches here to get comfortable in the box, and hopefully I'll get to the point where I can make my old college coach, Tony Gwynn, proud.

QuietStormX: When did you start pitching?

Strasburg: I started pitching in Tee Ball. In my league, we actually pitched instead of just hitting off the tees.

bills187: What's been different pitching in Spring Training vs. your experience at San Diego State?

Strasburg: There really isn't that big a difference. You just have to go out there and do your thing. You can't change your style of pitching, just stick with what works for you.

MannyAt: What pitch do you find consistently puts away a hitter the most often? In other words, your best "swing and miss" pitch?

Strasburg: In my opinion, that would be my breaking ball.

krickeys: Best flick you've seen in the last year?

Strasburg: "She's Out of My League" was really funny, but "Avatar" was definitely the best.

krickeys: What did you learn playing for Tony Gwynn?

Strasburg: Coach Gwynn taught me a lot. The most valuable thing I learned from him was work ethic. He coaches the game the right way, and he taught me how to manage the highs and lows involved with the game.

Strasburg: Last question, then I have to get some work in.

cqsick: What is your favorite baseball movie?

Strasburg: "Bull Durham." It's a pretty funny movie and Kevin Costner seems like he's a pretty good baseball player.

Strasburg: Thanks to everyone who joined us today, and a special thanks to everybody who took the time to ask questions. There were some really great questions. I look forward to chatting again sometime soon. Go Nats!

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.