|Full Name||Justin Brooks Verlander|
|Date of Birth||February 20, 1983|
Justin Verlander is a 39-year-old professional baseball player for the Houston Astros. He is a starting pitcher that is considered one of the most established and accomplished of this generation. Since beginning his career with the Detroit Tigers in 2005, Verlander has gone on to play 17 seasons in the major leagues. Verlander played in 13 seasons for the Tiger before moving to the Houston Astros in 2017. He is know for his stamina and ability to go deep into games. Verlander is a two-time Cy Young Award winner and nine-time All-Star.
February 20, 1983, age 39
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Born in Manakin-Sabot, Virginia, Verlander excelled at baseball at an early age. He is the son of Richard and Kathy Verlander, and older brother of MLB Analyst Ben Verlander. He started his baseball career in little league with the Tuckahoe Little League in Richmond, Virginia. His father recognized his abilities early and enrolled him in the Richmond Baseball Academy at a young age. Verlander excelled at the academy and developed a dangerous fastball at a young age.
He went on to play for Goochland High School before enrolling at Old Dominion University. During his time at Old Dominion he set a list of records including most strikeouts in a game and most single-season strikeouts. He pitched for three years in university and left as the schools all-time strikeout leader with an average of 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
At the age of 21, Justin Verlander was drafted by the Detroit Tiger as the second overall pick in the 2004 MLB Draft. He signed officially with the Tigers on October 25, 2004. The San Diego Padres, who had the first pick in the draft that season, passed on Justin Verlander and selected shortstop Matt Bush with their first pick that season. Verlander was promptly picked up by then well known Detroit Tigers scout Bill Buck and went on to play 13 seasons with the Detroit Tigers. After working his was up the Tigers farm system, Verlander was given his MLB opportunity early in the 2005 season on July 4th against the Cleveland Indians.
Justin Verlander started only two games in his rookie season as he bounced around between the majors and minor league. He lost both those games to the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins and finished with a 7.15 ERA.
After a rough first season, Verlander found his groove in 2006. The young pitcher had an instant impact in Detroit with a 17-9 record in his first full season. He had an impressive 3.63 ERA over 30 starts and set a rookie franchise record for right-handers with 124 strikeouts. Verlander was part of the Tigers 2006 team that reached the World Series but lost in five games to the St. Louis Cardinals. He was voted the American League Rookie of the Year in what would be the first of many accolades.
Verlander continued to progress and developed a stellar fastball and curveball. In 2007 he had an 18-6 record and on June 12, 2007 he pitched his first no-hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers. That season he was selected to his first All-Star game. After a subpar 2008 he returned in 2009 with a much-improved stat line. He finished with a 19-9 record that season and an impressive 3.45 ERA. That season he led the league in wins (19) and strikeouts (269). He was selected to the All-Star game in 2009. After finishing 2010 with a 18-9 record and a 3.37 ERA he was selected once again to be an All-Star.
His 2011 season is considered to be his finest as the Tigers ace finished with a 24-5 record and a 2.40 ERA. He recorded his second no-hitter that season on May 7 against the Toronto Blue Jays. That season, he won the coveted American League Triple Crown for pitching, leading the AL in wins, strikeouts and ERA. He also won both the Cy Young Award and AL MVP that season in what is regarded as one of the greatest pitching seasons in modern history.
Justin Verlander continued to thrive with the Tigers during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. During that time he recorded 30 wins. In 2012 he reached another World Series this time losing out to the San Francisco Giants. From 2009-2013 he was selected to five consecutive All-Star games.
After injuries hampered his 2014 and 2015 seasons, Verlander returned stronger than ever in 2016. He had a 16-9 record that season and finished second in the voting for the Cy Young Award.
In 2017 Verlander was traded to the Houston Astros. He would continue to excel and help with Astros win their first World Series in 2017. That season he was voted ALCS MVP. In 2018 he had a 16-9 record with the Astros and set several personal records including reaching 200 wins and 2500 career strikeouts.
After signing a massive new contract with the Astros, 2019 saw Verlander pitch his third no-hitter versus the Toronto Blue Jays. Although the Astros lost the World Series that season to the Washington Nationals, he was awarded his second Cy Young that season.
Injuries once again kept Verlander out during the 2020 and 2021 seasons where he pitched just one game. He returned to the Astros lineup as the ace in 2022 and continues to dominate opposing hitter even at 39 years old.
|All-Star||2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2018, 2019, 2022|
|All –MLB First Team||2019|
|World Series Champion||2017|
|Cy Young||2011, 2019|
|MLB Wins Leader||2009, 2011, 2019|