Justin Verlander Named 2011 American League MVP

Just one week after winning the coveted Cy Young Award, Detroit Tigers hard-throwing right-hander Justin Verlander has been named MLB’s 2011 American League MVP, becoming the first starting pitcher to capture the prize in 25 years.

“Not even in my wildest dreams had I thought of this,” Verlander said Monday, according to the Detroit Free Press. “I want to say it’s a dream come true. I can’t say that, because my dream had already come true — it was winning the Cy Young. The next dream is to win a World Series.”

Verlander, who helped boost the Tigers to the AL Central title and a trip to the league championship series this past season, went 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts to capture the AL pitching triple crown. He also pitched the most innings (251) and finished with the best WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) at 0.92.

According to Reuters, Verlander said he hoped his selection might pave the way for other pitchers to get the consideration they deserve.

“Pitchers should not be written off just because they’re pitchers,” Justin said. “I think this set a precedent. We do have a major impact in this game and can be extremely valuable to our team and its success as an individual.”

Over the course of his 7-year career, Justin Verlander has accumulated a win-loss record of 107-57, an ERA of 3.54, struck out 1,215 batters, and thrown 2-no hitters. At only 28, he’s just now entering his prime and should be a force in the AL Central for years to come.

Check out a video of Verlander’s 2011 highlights below:

via USA Today