Strasburg said he admired Santana from afar while growing up in San Diego, and wants to have similar success that Santana has had over the years. Santana has won two Cy Young Awards and three ERA titles.
"I watched him growing up, especially with the Twins," Strasburg said. "He is from the left side. He does a lot of stuff I want to do when it comes to attacking hitters, trusting your fastball, working down in the zone. Obviously, we have a little different body type and stuff."
Strasburg also admires Santana's work ethic and the way he was able to come back from a torn left anterior capsule in his shoulder, the same injury that sidelined Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang. It took Santana a little over a year to recover from the injury.
"I'm impressed with the way he came back from the injuries and everything," Strasburg said. "To come back is amazing. You can only respect the guy more and appreciate what he does."