Justin Verlander has been named the 2011 Sporting News MLB Player of the Year according to a tweet from the Detroit Tigers’ official account. The Cy Young candidate became the first pitcher to win the award since Orel Hershiser in 1988.
“Justin Verlander has been named the Sporting News’ 2011 MLB Player of the Year. Congratulations JV! #mlb,” the tweet read.
The 28-year-old had arguably his best professional season in 2011. The hard throwing right-hander went 24-4 for the first place Tigers while posting a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts. He became the first American League pitcher to win the pitching Triple Crown since Johan Santana led the league in wins, strikeouts, and earned run average in 2006.
Verlander is considered a lock to win the 2011 American League Cy Young as voted upon by the Baseball Writers Association of America, and could potential become the first pitcher to win the league's Most Valuable Player award since Dennis Eckersley won in 1992.