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Jered David Weaver (born October 4, 1982 in ), is a Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who he has played with for his entire professional career. Weaver was drafted in the first round (12th overall) in the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft by the Angels out of California State University, Long Beachmarker.

Early years

Although Weaver was born in Northridge, he was raised in Simi Valleymarker and attended Simi Valley High School.

College career

Weaver attended college at California State University, Long Beachmarker. He was the College Baseball's Dick Howser Trophy winner as the national collegiate baseball player of the year. He also won college baseball's top pitching honor, the Roger Clemens Award. He was also named first-team All-American by Baseball America in 2004 as a starting pitcher and was projected by them to be the top draft pick in a midseason update. Weaver went 37-9 at Long Beach State and was 15-1, with a 1.62 ERA in his last season with 213 strikeouts and just 21 walks in 144 innings. A 2004 Los Angeles Times called him dominating, describing his pitching as overwhelming "batters with a fastball between 89 and 94 mph, a sharp slider and an improving curveball all thrown with the same three-quarter arm delivery. He also has a fiery streak that is revealed with a fist pump or yell after a strikeout that ends an inning or a long at-bat." The article compared him to 2001 college pitching sensation Mark Prior.

Professional career

2004 Draft and Minor Leagues

Weaver was originally speculated to be one of the top three overall draft picks in 2004, however his agent, Scott Boras's bonus demands turned off several teams. On draft day, Baseball America asked "Where In The World Is Jered Weaver Going? That is the $10.5 million question. No team is claiming him as a possible first-round pick, and there's no sense that a club is lying in the weeds on him. He and adviser Scott Boras don't seem to be backing down from a reported desire for Mark Prior money, and he could slide through the entire first round altogether." Weaver was drafted in the 1st round (12th pick overall) by the Angels in the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft. The Angels scouting director Eddie Bane said he didn't know until two minutes before the draft that he'd definitely get the opportunity to choose Weaver. Bane told Baseball America about their scouting, "We did our homework. We started when Jered first got to Long Beach. I watched him in intrasquad games back in January. All our guys had seen him. We didn't back off because of reports in the paper. We do our stuff privately. We were prepared if he was there at 12 to take him." However, negotiations did not proceed smoothly. Talks broke down multiple times. Boras and client Weaver held out until the last minutes before the May 2005 deadline, becoming the longest holdout in draft history. Weaver received a $4 million dollar signing bonus, less than the $10.5 million originally sought and also less than a $7-8 million range mentioned in the media just months before signing.

Weaver's ascent to the major leagues was quick. He made his Major League debut on May 27, 2006, a total of just 361 days after signing with the club. He spent just over one month in Single-A before being promoted to Double-A where he would finish 2005 3-3 with a 3.98 ERA. In 2006, Weaver moved up to Triple-A Salt Lake where he dominated hitters. MiLB wrote of Weaver's success, "It's fairly common for prospects to struggle in their first exposure to Triple-A ball, but the 23-year-old Weaver dominated the Pacific Coast League almost immediately, posting a 6-1 record with a 2.10 ERA in 12 games for the Bees." Angels management were impressed enough to call Weaver up when ace Bartolo Colon was on the disabled list.

Major Leagues

He made his MLB debut on May 27, , starting against the Baltimore Orioles. He pitched seven shutout innings, striking out five, and earning the victory. This was followed with three more consecutive victories. Despite his success, when Bartolo Colón returned from the disabled list, Weaver was bumped out of the rotation and sent back down to the minors. He was recalled to the majors on June 30, 2006, when the Angels designated his brother Jeff for assignment.

Weaver continued his impressive performance, at one point lowering his ERA to 1.12 after six starts. He won his first nine decisions at the start of his major league career, tying the American League record set by Whitey Ford in . Weaver recorded his first loss on August 24, 2006, when he lost to the Boston Red Sox, despite allowing only one earned run in seven innings pitched, a home run to David Ortiz. He finished the season with an 11-2 record and a 2.56 ERA and placed fifth in the American League Rookie of the Year Award voting.

On June 28, , he and José Arredondo combined to no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers over eight innings, but still lost the game 1-0. This was only the fourth time in major league history that a no-hit bid was unable to go nine innings because of the home team winning the game, and the first as a combined effort. Because they did not pitch nine innings, it is not officially considered a no-hitter.

Weaver made his first career relief appearance against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Parkmarker in Game 3 of the 2008 ALDS. He recorded the win in the bottom of the 12th inning in order to keep the Angels, who previously were down 2-0 in the series, hopes of winning the series alive.

On June 14, 2009, Weaver had his first complete game shutout against the San Diego Padres.

On June 20, 2009, Weaver started for the Angels against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The opposing starter was his older brother Jeff Weaver. This was the first pitching matchup between brothers since 2002 when Andy and Alan Benes matched up and only the 15th such game since 1967. The Dodgers won 6-4, with Jeff getting the win and Jered taking the loss.Weaver was named the Nick Adenhart Pitcher of the year award named after Jered's late teammate.

Pitches

He has an exceptionally straight fastball which he can control very well, as well as a changeup, slider, and a curveball. He also throws sidearm occasionally for a strikeout or to fool hitters. Part of Weaver's success has been attributed to his unusual pitch delivery. Before throwing the ball, he briefly turns his back to the plate, hiding the ball and thereby making it difficult for batters to figure out his release point.

Personal

On February 9, 2007, he and his brother had their jerseys retired by Simi Valley High School in a basketball game between Royal High School and Simi Valley.

Weaver is on the cover of MVP 07: NCAA Baseball, in his college uniform.

References

  1. "Baseball Awards Voting for 2006". Baseball-Reference.com.
  2. Peters, Ken. June 28, 2008. "Dodgers Beat Angels Without a Hit". Yahoo! Sports.
  3. Brotherly love: Weavers set to match up
  4. Dodgers' Weaver wins battle of brothers
  5. Weaver honored tonight at halftime of Simi-Royal clash


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