Player’s Name: Justin Verlander
Player’s Position: P – Starter
Player’s Current Team: Detroit Tigers
Price I Paid for the Card: I got this card in a pack of 2008 Topps Series 1.
Set it’s from: 2008 Topps Series 1.
What it’s Worth: Beckett has it listed for $10.00.
Why I like this card: In his first two years as a full time starter, Justin has won 35 games and lost just 15. Before the season started I would have put him as a front runner for the Cy Young award this year, now that Santana is in the NL. However he is off to a horrible start (1-6). I have seen him pitch and it appears that his mechanics are off. His velocity is down and he just looks uncomfortable on the mound. Now it is still very early in the season and things could very well turn around for him (and they probably will), but this will not be a Cy Young type year for him. I do think since he is still quite young (25) that he will turn this all around and get back to the mountain top he was on after the 2007 season. The card is actually a highlight card, which glorifies his June 12th no hitter. Throwing a no hitter is impressive and you can’t do it unless you are a good pitcher. This may be a one year aberration for Verlander, but I guess we will have to see.
Why it’s a Cheap Hit: I tossed and turned on this one, in the end though I classify it as a cheap hit. The truth is that he had two of the best seasons you could have to start off a career and he is so young, there is no reason why he can’t bounce back. I’ve reviewed hundreds of pitchers and I can see this going the other way as well, one where he becomes a reliever because he can’t handle the pressures of starting. I’ve also seen one year anomalies, where pitchers have one bad seas sandwiched between many good seasons. I think Justin is going to fall into the category. He’s having a rough start but he can overcome it over time.
Will if ever be worth more? He needs a few Cy Youngs (which I think he’s capable of) before his cards are going to go up. Let’s see if he can do it.