J.J. Putz, Meet The 2009 New York Mets

Phil HoopsCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2009

Joseph Jeffery "J.J." Putz was born in Trenton, Michigan on February 22nd, 1977.

In high school Putz was a pitching stand out and was elected Mr. Baseball for the state of Michigan in 1995.

Following success at the University of Michigan, Putz was drafted by the Seattle Mariners.

From there Putz worked his way up through Seattle's farm system.

Despite having a devastating fastball, which clocked out at 97 mph many felt that Putz would never amount to anything due to his lack of other dominate pitches.

Still, Putz progressed enough to warrant a September call up in 2003.

During his first two years in the majors Putz appeared to be a mediocre reliever at best posting a 4.72 ERA along with 50 strike outs in 66.7 innings pitched.

However, during the spring of 2006, Seattle's closer at the time, Eddie Guardado, taught Putz how to throw an effective secondary pitch, the splitter.

From that point on Putz's career took off, and during the 2006 season Putz took over Guardado's job as closer. He finished the 2006 campaign with 36 saves and a 2.30 ERA.

The year 2007 turned out to be a career year for J.J. He saved 40 games while posting a phenomenal 1.38 ERA.

His stellar performance not only earned him an All Star selection, but also the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year award.

2008 was a lost year for Putz as he was injured for most of the season. In only 34 appearances Putz posted a grizzly 9.78 ERA.

On December 10th, 2008 the Mariners traded Putz to the New York Mets.

It has previously been announced that J.J. will setup another All Star closer, Francisco Rodriguez during the 2009 season.