Monday, March 12, 2012
Better Know a Tiger: Justin Verlander
Full Name: Justin Brooks Verlander
Date of Birth: 2/20/83 (29 years old)
Born: Manakin-Sabot, Virginia
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
-Tweeting about golf
-Grooming body hair
-The month of April
-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.