- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 11, 2009

The story of how Drew Storen became a member of the Washington Nationals involved, as his adviser Brodie Van Wagenen put it, a “perfect storm” of events.

The Stanford closer recorded all eight of his outs by strikeout against Oregon State on May 23 with several members of the Nationals’ scouting staff in attendance, had an impressive workout at Nationals Park last Thursday and shared a desire with the team to agree quickly on a contract so he could zip through the minor leagues.

But the story goes back even further than that. It picks up in 2003, when the Nationals were still the Expos and Storen was a batboy for the team whenever it would get close to his hometown of Indianapolis.

His father, Mark Patrick, who used to be a baseball analyst on XM radio, knew former Montreal trainer Ron McClain and arranged for Storen to come over from Indianapolis to Cincinnati for a series against the Reds.

Storen met rookie closer Chad Cordero and decided then he wanted to work the ninth inning in the big leagues.

“It was kind of when the dream started, like, ‘Hey, I really want to do this for a living,’ ” Storen said.

So when Storen signed with the Nationals on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the team drafted him with the 10th overall pick, and stood in front of reporters with his flat-brimmed hat pulled low over his eyes, it felt like the completion of that dream.

The 6-foot-2 sophomore was near the top of the Nationals’ draft board when the proceedings started Tuesday, and after he inked a deal that will pay him a $1.6 million signing bonus, there was already talk of Storen being a future closer.

He said he worked out for only two teams - the Nationals and San Francisco Giants - and Washington was the one that talked most of keeping Storen in the bullpen and grooming him for ninth-inning duty.

He will start at Class A Hagerstown, where former roommate Jack McGeary is pitching. And given the state of the Nationals’ bullpen, both in the majors and the organization, Storen could be a quick riser.

“With Drew, like many of our prospects, signability before the draft [is a factor],” acting general manager Mike Rizzo said. “We have discussions with multiple representatives and players, so we knew the parameters of Drew’s interest level to sign a contract relatively quickly. He wanted to begin his professional career in a fast manner because he believes, as do we here in Washington, that the sooner he signs, the sooner he can be a quick-to-the-big-leagues type of performer.”

Rehab updates

Scott Olsen made his first rehab start Tuesday night for Class A Potomac, tossing three scoreless innings and needing only 34 pitches to get through the outing. The left-hander, on the 15-day disabled list since May 17 with shoulder tendinitis, is scheduled to start for Class AAA Syracuse and will throw 55 to 60 pitches.

Reliever Kip Wells (strained groin) also threw one scoreless inning for Potomac and needed only eight pitches. He’s scheduled to throw two innings next time and then start working on back-to-back days.

Finally, left-hander Matt Chico began his long rehab back from elbow ligament replacement surgery, allowing two runs and three hits in two innings for Hagerstown.

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