Frederick Alfred "Rick" Porcello III (born December 27, 1988) is a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. He was drafted #27 overall in the first round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft. Porcello has been described as an "ace" who could be a "bona fide No. 1 starter." In 2009, he was the youngest player in the major leagues. His choice of sports agent Scott Boras to advise him may have scared away other teams and knocked him down to the 27th spot.
Porcello graduated from Seton Hall Preparatory School in West Orange, New Jersey in 2007. In his senior season, he compiled a 10–0 record with 103 strikeouts and a 1.44 ERA in 63 innings pitched. He threw a perfect game on May 12, 2007 against Newark Academy.
Although Porcello signed a letter of intent to attend the University of North Carolina, he later declined in order to pursue his professional career in Major League Baseball. Heralded as one of the most promising prospects in the country, Porcello was signed by the Tigers to a $7.28 million, four-year deal with two one-year options. The total contract is worth $11.1 million, making Porcello the highest-paid high schooler ever. He also received a $3.5 million signing bonus, the second-largest ever given out by the Tigers, surpassed only by the $3.55 million given to 2006 first round pick Andrew Miller.
Minor league careerEdit
Porcello played the entire 2008 season with the Lakeland Flying Tigers, Detroit's advanced class-A affiliate. He earned his first victory against the Tampa Yankees on April 3, 2008. On May 12, he was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week. On July 19, he took part in a seven inning combined no-hitter against the St. Lucie Mets. Porcello finished the season with a record of 8-6 in 125 innings pitched. His 2.66 ERA was the lowest in the FSL.
Major league careerEdit
On February 7, 2009, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski stated that Porcello would be considered for the final spot in the Tigers' rotation, pending his spring training performance. Porcello began drawing comparisons to Boston Red Sox ace Josh Beckett, namely from Tigers official Al Avila, who was the Florida Marlins' scouting director when the team drafted Beckett in 1999. On April 1, Dombrowski confirmed that Porcello would make the 2009 opening day roster after posting a 2.63 ERA in five Grapefruit League games. Dombrowski stated: Template:Cquote
On April 9, Porcello made his Major League debut against Toronto, opposite Blue Jays rookie pitcher Ricky Romero. The game marked the first time in MLB history that two first-round picks faced each other in their respective debuts. Porcello pitched five innings and took the loss for Detroit. He struck out four batters and allowed four runs on eight hits.
On April 19, Porcello earned his first career win in a 8-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners. He allowed one run and struck out three in seven innings with no walks. He retired the final 14 batters he faced.
Porcello won all five games he started in May. He became the youngest pitcher to win five starts in a row since Dwight Gooden won seven in a row in 1985, as well as the first Tiger age 20 or younger to win five consecutive starts since at least 1954 (research beyond that year is incomplete).
On June 12, Porcello made his interleague debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates, allowing one run in seven innings. He also had two RBI singles, which proved to be the difference in the Tigers' 3-1 win.
On November 16, it was announced that Porcello finished third in the voting for American League Rookie of the Year, behind Andrew Bailey of the Oakland Athletics and Elvis Andrus of the Texas Rangers.
Porcello began the 2010 season with a 4–7 record, accumulating a 6.14 ERA. On June 20, 2010 he was sent down to AAA Toledo. Jim Leyland announced he will be called back up on July 17 to face the Indians. In his first start back with the team he had quite possibly the best start of his career, continuing the trend of struggling starters in the rotation finding success after stints with the Mud Hens. Going eight innings against the Indians, allowing one run, striking out six and walking none.
Porcello finished the 2010 season with a 10-12 record, going 5-1 in his last 7 starts, with an ERA of just under 5.00.
Porcello, a resident of Chester, New Jersey, was inducted into both the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society at Seton Hall Prep. He graduated with a four-year cumulative GPA of 3.94.Template:Clarify His older brother Zach is a pitching coach at Seton Hall University. His younger brother Jake is a 2009 graduate of Seton Hall Prep and is currently a pitcher at Seton Hall University and was drafted by the Tigers in the 48th round of the 2009 draft.
Awards and recognitionEdit
- Selected to the 2006 AFLAC High School All-American Classic Baseball game in San Diego, California
- Named the 2006–07 Gatorade national baseball player of the year
- Selected for the 2008 Florida State League mid-season and post-season All-Star teams
- Named TigsTown.com's Organizational Pitcher of the Year
- Named the AL Rookie of the Month for May 2009.
- Named Tigers Rookie of the Year for 2009,
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