DETROIT (WXYZ) - The Tigers were busy Friday night celebrating a victory over the Cleveland Indians with a man named Justin Verlander getting the win on the mound, but Saturday afternoon they were celebrating with a different Verlander making news.
Ben Verlander, Justin's younger brother, was drafted by the Tigers in the 14th round with the 426th overall pick in this year's Major League Baseball draft. Ben, an outfielder, was selected by the Tigers back in 2010 in the 46th round after finishing up at Goochland High School but enrolled at college, the same one as his brother, Old Dominion.
It's never easy to follow in someone's footsteps, especially when those footsteps leave Old Dominion with the school record in strikeouts. However, Ben stepped out of Justin's shadow this past year and emerged as ODU's new star.
Ben was named ODU's Most Valuable Player after batting .367 as a junior, knocking in 11 home runs while leading his ball club in runs scored, multi-hit games and stolen bases. This past season was his first as a full-time position player as he was named to the First Team All-Colonial Athletic Association.
Now the Tigers and fans will play the waiting game to see whether Ben Verlander signs with the Tiger's organization or returns to Old Dominion for his senior year and a possible shot as a higher draft pick a year from now.
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