RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Spring Training is opening across the baseball world, and Goochland native Ben Verlander is in Lakeland, Florida, with the Detroit Tigers organization. The outfielder was drafted in the 14th round in 2013 out of Old Dominion.
Ben's entering his second full minor league season and says he learned a lot during his first full campaign. He spent 2014 with Connecticut and West Michigan, both Class A teams, and hit .221 with three home runs and 42 RBI. His best showing in a game was a 4-for-5 performance with two home runs and seven RBI, showing signs of big potential at the plate.
Ben has only been a full-time hitter for about three years. He made the transition during his junior season at ODU, after previously splitting time between the mound and the outfield.
Of course, Ben isn't the only Verlander in pro baseball, or with the Tigers. His older brother, Justin, has become one of the best pitchers in the game. The younger Verlander says he knows Justin is a big reason for his success, but now he's looking to create his own name. That's a big reason why he chose to become a hitter, as he works towards putting his own mark on baseball.
Click on the above video to view our story on Ben Verlander.