Sports

Is Justin Verlander Overrated? (3 Reasons He Is Not)

Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros walks out of the bullpen prior to Game Six of the 2019 World Series against the Washington Nationals at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2019 in Houston, Texas.
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

 

Houston Astros’ pitcher Justin Verlander committed to return to the team that traded for him in 2017 on a one-year deal worth $25 million.

He has a player option for 2023, also worth $25 million.

He is getting up there in age and lost nearly all of the 2020 season, and all of 2021, while rehabbing from elbow surgery.

Some may think he is overrated, but there are a lot of reasons to refute that claim.

Here are three of them.

 

3. An Impeccable Track Record

When it comes to accomplishments and track record, very few active pitchers in MLB can match or surpass Verlander.

Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw, and that’s it.

Verlander is an eight-time MLB All-Star (2007, 2009–2013, 2018, 2019), an All-MLB First Team (2019), and a World Series champion (2017).

He won the 2011 AL MVP and two Cy Young awards (2011, 2019).

In that 2011 season, he was the ERA leader, won the pitching Triple Crown, led the league in strikeouts and pitched a no-hitter.

He also twirled additional no-hitters in 2007 and 2019.

He was also the Rookie of the Year in 2006, and the ALCS MVP in 2017.

He has led MLB in wins three times (2009, 2011, 2019) in addition to five strikeout crowns (2009, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2018).

When it appeared he was losing effectiveness, the Astros traded for him and encouraged him to use his phenomenal fastball up in the zone more often, and revived his career.

He will be 39 when Spring Training starts, has won nearly every award a Major League pitcher can win, and is still pitching at a high level, touching 97 mph on his fastball in a recent showcase.

How can that profile be associated with an overrated pitcher?

 

2. Rare Durability

Verlander’s arm was made for pitching.

From 2007 to 2014, he pitched at least 200 innings every single season, and the streak was cut short in 2015 because an injury limited him to 20 starts.

Then, in 2016, he started a new streak until 2019.

In a time in which managers tend to take out their starter earlier in the game, Verlander remains a true workhorse who can face a lineup three times without losing too much effectiveness.

He is a gift to a team’s bullpen and a manager’s dream.

Verlander can take the ball and take you to the eighth frame when he is at his best, even in 2019, the last time he was healthy enough to pitch a full slate of innings.

 

1. His Market Was Very Strong: Lots Of Team Wanted Him

The Toronto Blue Jays were said to be interested in Verlander.

The New York Yankees talked several times with his agent and wanted him on their roster.

It was reported that the Detroit Tigers were keen on a reunion with a pitcher that was the face of the franchise for a decade.

Additionally, nearly all teams in MLB would tell you that they would take Verlander with their eyes closed if money wasn’t a factor.

It’s clear that, if so many teams were after his services, and the current AL champions just gave him $25 million for one year (potentially, $50 for two), he has a lot of present value.

If he has a lot of present value and teams recognize this, there is no way to state he is overrated.

He impressed in his showcase and looks healthy and ready to go.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

close