Tonight’s starters — Phil Hughes and Jered Weaver — have a bit of a connection dating back to 2004. Weaver was the consensus top pitching prospect in the country prior to the draft that year, fresh off winning the Dick Howser Trophy (Collegiate Player of the Year) and Roger Clemens Award (Collegiate Pitcher of the Year) at Long Beach State. Hughes was considered the top high school pitcher in California that spring, a top 15 talent for the draft.
Weaver was advised by Scott Boras, who let teams know he was seeking Mark Prior money ($10.5M). The Angels had been connected to Hughes all spring long, but when Boras’ asking price cause Weaver to fall out of the top three picks and into Anaheim’s lap with the 12th overall pick, they pounced. That left Hughes on the board for the Yankees, who took him 23rd overall with the Astros’ first round pick. They received that when Andy Pettitte signed with him hometown team.
Eight years later, the 25-year-old Hughes and 29-year-old Weaver will square off tonight in their native Southern California. Weaver is a legitimate Cy Young candidate and clearly the better pitcher, but I’m pretty sure he’s jealous of Phil’s World Series ring. Here’s the lineup…
RHP Phil Hughes
Tonight’s game starts a little after 9pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.