In the latest edition of from the vault, look back at the career of former Detroit Tigers pitcher, Jeremy Bonderman, who spent nine seasons with the organization.
Way back in 2001, the Oakland Athletics would go on and select starting pitcher Jeremy Bonderman twenty-sixth overall in the first round of the draft. Bonderman would later be sent to the Detroit Tigers as a “player to be named later” in a trade from August of 2002.
Following the trade, Bonderman would begin an eight-year tenure with the organization before returning a few years later for a brief period. Bonderman’s career spanned nine seasons between 2003 and 2013 with a gap between the 2010 and 2013 season.
Looking back at the numbers over the years, Bonderman’s best season was the 2006 season where he pitched himself to a 14-8 record. He accumulated a career-high, 214 innings pitched over thirty-four starts. He would carry a 4.08 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and strike out 202 hitters on the season.
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Bonderman was not known the same as someone like Justin Verlander, he was more of a “pitch to contact” and let the defense do the work type of pitcher. Now coming out of high school it was a much different narrative.
Coming out of high school, scouts ranted and raved about his abilities on the mound as a flamethrowing right-hander.
Those fans who are familiar with Moneyball will know, Athletics General Manager Billy Beane is not akin to taking high school pitcher or at least was not in the past.
Bonderman would ultimately be selected by the Athletics, going against Beane’s narrative, but he would be traded within two years.
Bonderman was a flamethrower out of high school, an investment as most would call it. Investing in a high school arm who sits with high velocities on the mound immediately falls on projectability.
In the end, Bonderman would not be the Cy Young first-rounder that some may have hoped for, in fact, he would never pitch a game for the Athletics. Things would take a turn south for Bonderman when he stepped away from the game after 2010.
Before returning to the mound in 2013, he would need Tommy John Surgery for which he would try and recover from before signing with the Seattle Mariners. He was 1-3 with the Mariners over seven starts with a 4.93 ERA, 1.49 WHIP over 38.1 innings pitched.
He would get cut by the Mariners and end up signing with the Tigers where he pitched in eleven games for the organization. He carried a 1-1 record, a 6.48 ERA, and 1.68 WHIP over a total of 16.2 innings pitched.
The Detroit Tigers acquired Bonderman in a trade, he was no Cy Young winner but he was a valuable piece of the rotation during his time here with the organization.