Admirable though it was, Nationals closer Drew Storen’s quest to finish his Stanford degree during his offseasons from baseball was probably doomed to fail.
His major, product design, requires classes that involve heavy hands-on work in a design lab — which doesn’t lend itself to missing the first three weeks of school, as his baseball schedule requires.
And that’s not to mention the mental toll of a full season of closing games for the Nationals, which doesn’t lend itself to a full immersion in the grind of college life a day or two after the end of the season.
“I’m kind of handcuffed because of the classes I need,” Storen, 24, said. “The whole hands-on approach – you’re literally making protoypes and stuff by the time you get there. I can’t just miss three weeks and make it up. It’s kind of unfortunate. I wish it would have worked.”
Storen also acknowledged the need to “decompress” mentally after his first full season as a big league closer. Last fall, when he attended classes at Stanford at season’s end, he had spent a little more than four months in the majors and had served as a full-time closer for only two months.
Storen, who left Stanford after his sophomore year to turn professional, still lacks about five quarters’ worth of credits to finish his degree. He said his plan now is to return after his playing career is over, possibly combining his school work with some coaching.
“But hopefully,” he said, “I’ll be a lot older when I go back.”