Detroit drafted Jason Verlander in the first round of the 2004 draft. The Twins drafted Matt Garza in the first round of the 2005 draft. Verlander rocketed through Detroit's minor league system to become a starter for the Tigers in less than two years following the draft. And Verlander who reportedly hits 100mph on occassion with his fastball, is one of the brightest young starters in the league.
Verlander began his first full season of minor league ball, 2005, in the Florida State League with Lakeland. Garza began his first full year, 2006, in the same league with Ft. Myers. How does Garza compare with Verlander's performance in the FSL?
Verlander 13gs 9-2 86.0ip 70h 19r 16er
19BB 104SO 1.03WHIP 1.67ERA
Garza 8gs 5-1 44.1ip 27h 13r 7er
11BB 53SO 0.64WHIP 1.42ERA
Although Verlander remained in the FSL longer, Garza's numbers appear to be superior to those put up by Verlander during 2005. Verlander was promoted to Erie (AA) during the summer of 2005. Garza was recently promoted to New Britain which again is the same league as Erie. Verlander's performance at Erie:
Verlander 7gs 2-0 32.2ip 11h 1r 1er
7BB 32SO 0.55WHIP 0.28ERA
Garza 1gs 1-0 7.2ip 1h 0r 0er
2BB 13SO 0.39WHIP 0.00ERA
Verlander went on to make 2 starts for Detroit in 2005 and is now a regular in the Tiger rotation who is pitching very well:
Tigers 2005 2gs 0-2 11.1ip 15h 9r 9er
5BB 7SO 1.81WHIP 7.15ERA
Tigers 2006 8gs 5-3 51.0ip 46h 20r 18er
14BB 27SO 1.18WHIP 3.18ERA
Although one game at AA is not enough to compare Garza's performance with that of Verlander in 2005, however, should he continue to pitch similar to his first outing it may very well be that Garza will enjoy similar success to Verlander in the American League. The next question is when will we see Garza with the Twins. Will he be a September callup this season? Or will they be patient and wait until sometime in 2007?