Monday, March 12, 2012

Better Know a Tiger: Justin Verlander

As we slowly inch toward the MLB regular season, here at DNR we will take a closer look at some of the key players in the Tigers’ pursuit of championship in 2012. Today, we start at the top with the ace of the staff, the reigning AL MVP and Cy Young winner, your BFF and mine...Justin Verlander.



Full Name: Justin Brooks Verlander

Date of Birth: 2/20/83 (29 years old)

Born: Manakin-Sabot, Virginia

Height: 6’5

Weight: 225 lbs.

High School: Goochland (Goochland, VA)

College: Old Dominion University

Journey To Detroit: Drafted by Tigers in first round (second overall) in 2004 Draft. Spent 2005 in Single-A and Double-A going a combined 11-2 with a 1.29 ERA in 20 games. Never played in Triple-A, jumping straight to Detroit in 2006, winning Rookie of the Year.

Best Season: 2011: 24-5, 2.40 ERA, 250 K’s in 251 IP, 0.92 WHIP, 170 ERA+

Worst Season: 2008: 11-17, 4.84 ERA, 163 K’s in 201 IP, 1.40 WHIP, 93 ERA+

2012 Salary: $20 million

Career earnings through 2011: $26.5 million

Likes

-Awards

-Asian chicks

-Staring contests

-Watching golf

-Playing golf

-Tweeting about golf

-Golf courses

-Arson

Dislikes

-Grooming body hair

-The month of April

-Pitch counts

-When Jim Thome swings

-Rain on the golf course

-That uppity bitch, Kate Upton

Did You Know?

-The only player selected ahead of JV in the 2004 Draft was shortstop Matt Bush, selected by the San Diego Padres. Single A pitching proved to be too difficult for Bush to hit and he switched to pitching in 2007. Last year, Bush finally made it to Double-A where he got shelled to a 4.83 ERA in 36 appearances out of the bullpen. One of the Padres’ front office members when the team selected Bush ahead of Verlander? Randy Smith.

-After drafting Verlander, negotiations were rough and Detroit eventually gave up on signing him. Bypassing JV’s agent, Justin's father Richard, a former union rep for the Communication Workers of America, contacted Detroit to handle the negotiations himself. The team praised Richard's work in enabling them to work out a contract for a $3.12 million signing bonus, a guarantee of $4.5 million and a maximum value of $5.6 million. The point is, THANK YOU RICHARD VERLANDER!

-On July 4, 2006, against the A’s, Verlander, Joel Zumaya, and Fernando Rodney each threw multiple fastballs clocked in at over 100 mph, becoming the first time in MLB history that three pitchers, on the same team, had done so during a game.

-In 2010, he became the first pitcher since Dwight Gooden to win at least 17 games in four of his five first seasons in the bigs.

-Verlander donated the $70,000 in bonuses he earned for the Cy Young and MVP awards after the 2011 season to his Victory for Veterans Foundation, topping it from his own funds to reach $100,000. Awesome of him to do with little fanfare.

Outlook for 2012

I think it’s safe to say that he’ll be pretty good. Other than win a World Series, the only other things he has left to accomplish in Detroit are to walk on water and cure cancer. Don’t bet against him, either.

4 comments:

kalinecountry said...

Tigers starting pitchers from the time I was a kid that stand out are Bunning, Lary, Lolich, McLain, Morris.
Newhouser and Trucks a bit before my time....All I can say is that Verlander has the chance to become the greatest Tigers pitcher all-time, in wins, strikeouts. All of us are witness to a Tigers pitcher that throws 100mph after 100/110/120 pitches, with a knee buckling curve, tremendous changeup, and an up and coming slider. The best stuff any Tigers pitcher has ever had in his repetoire. I hope Verlander is a career Tiger with 300 wins and 3000 strikeouts, leads the Tigers to a World Series  Championship,and go into the HOF first ballot, and I am around to see it. I will light a novena candle for the last sentence.

frisbeepilot said...

Who *doesn't* like Asian chicks? (And arson?)

Dan said...

Verlander is just plain sick, i remember the first time he threw a no hitter. My wife and I were just leaving the theater and I turned the game on the radio, I ended up making a 15 minute ride home last 45 minutes so I could hear the game, amazing!

Jay Hathaway said...

Actually very informative, Rogo.  It never really occurred to me that he bypassed AAA.