Jered Weaver entered the majors with all the hype and the right-hander has mostly lived up to billing.
After the Long Beach State pitcher won the 2004 Dick Howser Trophy, awarded to the collegiate baseball player of the year, Weaver was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the first round of the MLB Draft as the 12th overall pick.
Weaver likely would have gone higher in the draft, but several teams passed, afraid of the often-high demands involved with a player represented by agent Scott Boras. Weaver, the younger brother of major league pitcher Jeff Weaver, didn’t sign with the Angels until May 2005.
Jered Weaver would make his major league debut a year later, beating the Baltimore Orioles 10-1 with a three-hit, five-strikeout, seven inning performance. He finished his rookie campaign 11-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 19 starts and finished fifth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting — Detroit’s Justin Verlander and Boston’s Jonathan Papelbon placed first and second, respectively.
The next six seasons, Weaver went 13-7, 11-10, 16-8, 13-12, 18-8 and an AL-best 20-5 last year. In 2010, he led the majors with a career-best 233 strikeouts and made the first of his three consecutive All-Star team rosters. He also finished no lower than fifth in AL Cy Young voting the past three years.
For his career (through June 22), Weaver is 103-56 with a 3.28 ERA, ranking sixth among active players. In six postseason games between 2007-’09, Weaver is 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA with three starts.
On the Angels’ career leaderboards, his win-loss percentage of .648 ranks first, while his 103 victories are fourth behind Chuck Finley (165), Nolan Ryan (138) and Mike Witt (109). Weaver is also seventh with 1,149 strikeouts.
As long as he stays healthy, Weaver, who turns 31 on Oct. 4, should have no problem improving his career statistics. Will they be good enough for Hall of Fame?