"My God, this guy is throwing 100 MPH in the 6th inning, you're not going to mount much against him." -Chipper Jones (3B, Atlanta Braves)
"He's a special talent. I think he is one of the premier pitchers in the league, not just young pitchers either." -Jim Leyland (Manager, Detroit Tigers)
Justin Verlander was born in Manakin-Sabot, Virginia on February 20th, 1983. He attended Goochland High School before leaving for Old Dominion University for his college ball.
At Old Dominion, Verlander had a record of 21-18, an ERA of 2.60 and 17 complete games. During his college career, Justin never had a K/9 innings ratio under 10.75 and was ranked as one of the best pitchers in the nation.
The Tigers drafted Verlander with the second overall selection in the 2004 MLB First Year Player Draft, right behind San Diego's Matt Bush who has not yet made it to the majors. After going 11-2 in just 20 minor league starts at Single-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie combined, Verlander got the call to the majors.
In his first full year as a Detroit Tiger, Verlander went 17-9 and lead the American League with a .750 win percentage. That season, Justin was named American League Rookie of the Year.
Major League scouts think that Justin Verlander has both a fastball and a curveball that ranks among the best in the world. On June 12th, 2007, Justin used those top ranked pitches to throw a No-Hitter versus the Milwaukee Brewers. In that same year, Verlander was elected to his first All-Star game.
Justin Verlander, along with reliever Joel Zumaya are two of the top young pitchers in the league. Here is a quote from Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com:
"Starter, Justin Verlander rode a dominant fastball to the Rookie of the Year award, and the only way Zumaya could be scarier is if he carried a chain saw to the mound."
Verlander has been a part of the Tigers since late 2004. His career stats up to date are; 37-26, 3.97 ERA, 481 IP, 6.85 K/9 and 1.31 WHIP.
Verlander Career Awards
- 2006 Rookie of the Year
- Contender in 2006 AL Cy Young Voting
- Contender in 2007 AL Cy Young Voting
- 2007 American League All-Star
- No-Hitter versus Brewers (6/12/07)