Before the Mike Trout era in Anaheim, Jered Weaver was the Los Angeles Angels' Halo. June, 30, 2006 is a date many Angels fans may recall. It's the date that Jered Weaver would change the landscape of baseball in Anaheim, California.
Since he was called up to the major leagues as a 23-year-old in 2006, Weaver has always been special. His fastball was never overpowering, but the way he could maximize his pitches, was. He was able to utilize all his pitches throughout his 12-year-career.
Entering the 2006 season, he was ranked as Major League Baseball's #57th best prospect, according to Baseball America. He was considered to be polished, and could use his high 80's fastball towards his advantage.
When he emerged on the scene later that year, he stunned hitters with an incredible breaking ball. Hitters were not used to Weaver's craft. The righty finished fifth in the American League Rookie of the Year award voting, as he finished the season 11-2, with a 2.56 ERA in 19 starts. He was basically unhittable that year, allowing 6.8 H/9.
Lets fast forward now to the 2010 season. Weaver, now 27, had just led the Angels to three consecutive postseasons. The next three years would be considered to be his "prime" years. He used the 2010 season as his turning point. The past two seasons, he had an inflated ERA of 4.33, then 3.75.
In 2010, he appeared is his first all-star game. He finished the year 13-12, and had an ERA of 3.01. He also led the American League with 233 strikeouts in 224.1 innings, and he came up short of the CY Young award.
A year later, Weaver had arguably the best season of his career. His 2.41 ERA, was the second best in the league. Also, he came in third in wins with 18 of them, despite recording eight losses. Once again he was hard to hit, as he had a remarkable 7.0 H/9 that year. It was good enough for his second career all-star appearance, and he was the runner up of the CY Young award.
After the 2012 season, he started to lose some steam. His fastball lost some momentum and his curve was never the same.
In 2016, he started to regress. He posted a 5.06 ERA with the Angels and allowed 37 home runs. He made it the full year with his 82 mph fastball, but when he hit free agency after earning $23 million, the Halos were not interested in a reunion with their 2004 first-round pick.
When Weaver hit the open market, the San Diego Padres were in need of a veteran pitcher for the 2017 season. The Padres signed the 34-year-old to a one-year, $3 million deal.
Yesterday, Weaver hung up his cleats and called it quits after going 0-5, with a 7.44 ERA in nine starts, with the Padres.
In a statement released by the Padres yesterday, Weaver said that his body can no longer compete like he wants to.
Now, to the question I want to ask you. Does Jered Weaver deserve to receive hall-of-fame recognition? I say yes.
He was a premier pitcher for nearly a decade. He led the Angels to at least 20 wins when he pitched, multiple seasons. How can someone who had a remarkable career not get votes to enter the hall-of-fame?
My message to all the 2023 Hall-of-Fame class voters.....do not consider your vote based off of his last three seasons. Before the 2015 season, his career ERA was a spectacular 3.29. Just because he never won a CY Young Award or Most Valuable Player Award, doesn't mean he isn't Hall-of-Fame worthy!
I personally wish Jered Weaver a happy retirement and I congratulate him on an outstanding player career.