If you weren’t previously aware, Justin Verlander’s younger brother Ben is a Tigers outfield prospect.
And on Thursday, 24-year-old Ben stepped into the box to face 33-year-old Justin in an intrasquad game, for the first time.
Verlander planned his entire life to hit his brother with a pitch if they ever faced off. He did not. On the contrary, the younger Verlander hit a home run on the first pitch, a fastball down the middle,
“I've told him my whole life I'm going to hit him,” Verlander said, according to MLive.com. “I thought about throwing one behind his back, but I decided to throw one right down the middle instead. I'm sure he'll enjoy that for a long time.”
Ben was apparently supposed to be playing in another game, and immediately after going deep, left the dugout.
“Yeah, I guess he was supposed to be playing on another field and he just showed up for the one at-bat,” Justin said. “I kept waiting for him to come back around. He wasn’t going to get another cookie right down the middle. It was one epic swing for him. I am sure I am going to be hearing about it.”
“I got in there and I was telling myself to look for a first-pitch fastball, and the rest is history, I guess,” Ben told the Detroit Free Press.
Ben Verlander, for the record, hit .213 with five home runs in 126 games at High-A ball last season.