Detroit Tigers Draft Picks: Top First-Round Picks Since 2000
1. Justin Verlander, SP 2004
Perhaps it is fitting that the Tigers’ highest draft pick this century has also been the best.
Justin Verlander has been everything a team would want out of a top draft pick.
Only 33-years-old and already with a Hall of Fame-worthy resume, Verlander has been excellent in a Detroit uniform.
During his first full season in the big leagues, the right-hander won 17 games while pitching to a 3.63 ERA. He helped Detroit to the franchise’s first World Series appearance since 1984.
The man referred to by many as “JV” has, among other things, led the Tigers to another World Series appearance since 2006.
In addition to leading Detroit to American League titles in both 2006 and 2012, Verlander became the first pitcher since 1992 to win an MVP award when he went 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts in 251 innings pitched.
That season, the righty led the league in wins, ERA, games started, innings pitched, strikeouts, WHIP and hits per nine innings.
Verlander also won the Cy Young award and also became the second American League pitcher this century to win the pitching Triple Crown.
The ace’s resume also includes six All-Star game appearances, two no-hitters and the 2006 Rookie of the Year trophy. To top it all off, Verlander became a lights-out starter in the playoffs. He held the A’s and Yankees to three combined runs en route to the 2012 World Series, while also limiting the A’s and Red Sox to just one run in 23 innings in 2013.
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The longtime Detroit Tigers pitcher is only 2-4 with a 4.71 ERA this season, but he’s been dominant in his last two starts, posting a 0.60 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched.