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Jair Jurrjens

Atlanta Braves — No. 49
Starting pitcher
Born: January 29, 1986 (1986-01-29) (age 23)
Willemstad, Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
August 15, 2007 for the Detroit Tigers
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Win–Loss     30–21
Earned run average     3.21
Strikeouts     304

Jair Francoise Jurrjens (pronounced /ˈdʒaɪ.ər ˈdʒɜrdʒɛnz/, JYE-ər JUR-jənz; born January 29, 1986 in Willemstad, Curaçao, in the Netherlands Antilles) is a starting pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. Jurrjens is represented by Scott Boras.[1]


Professional career


Detroit Tigers organization

Jurrjens was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Detroit Tigers in 2003. In seven games during his 2003 campaign with the GCL Tigers, Jurrjens accumulated a 2–1 record with 20 strikeouts and just three walks. However, Jurrjens really broke out during his 2005 season with the West Michigan Whitecaps, the Tigers' single-A affiliate. In 26 games started, Jurrjens went 12–6 with 108 strikeouts and 36 walks. He continued to improve during the 2006 season, as a 5–0, 2.08 ERA start with the Whitecaps earned Jurrjens a promotion to the Erie SeaWolves, the Tigers' AA affiliate. In 12 games with the SeaWolves, Jurrjens went 4–3 with a 3.36 ERA.

Jurrjens began the 2007 season pitching for the SeaWolves. On August 15, the Tigers purchased Jurrjens' contract from the SeaWolves, adding him to their 40-man roster. Jurrjens made his major league debut on August 15, 2007, as a starting pitcher against the Cleveland Indians, making him the first pitcher from Curaçao to reach the major leagues. In that game, he gave up four earned runs in seven innings, taking the loss. He recorded his first major league win in his next start, also against the Indians, allowing only one run on one hit in 6⅔ innings pitched.

Atlanta Braves

On October 29, 2007, Jurrjens and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez were traded to the Atlanta Braves for shortstop Edgar Rentería.[2] Jurrjens was listed by Baseball America as the Braves' 3rd-best prospect entering the 2008 season.[3]

By the end of April 2008, Jurrjens was 3–2 with a 3.05 ERA and 28 strikeouts. Jurrjens was asked prior to the game on April 20 about how he felt facing his fellow countryman Andruw Jones. Jurrjens said, "It's going to be fun to face him", then said "It's going to be even more fun to strike him out." [4] Jurrjens then went on to strike Jones out all three times he faced him.

Jurrjens pitched well throughout the first half of the 2008 season, compiling a 9-4 record with an impressive 3.00 ERA prior to the All-Star Break. On July 9, 2008 Jurrjens was named National League Rookie of the Month for the month of June.[5] Jurrjens appeared to tire during the second half of the season, going 4-6 with a subpar 4.66 ERA after the All-Star Break. Overall, Jurrjens finished his rookie 2008 season with a record of 13-10 and a 3.68 ERA in 188 1/3 innings.

Jurrjens finished third in voting for the 2008 NL Rookie of the Year award. Jurrjens lost the award to Geovany Soto and Joey Votto.

Despite his impressive rookie season, some remained skeptical of Jurrjens' future prospects as a pitcher in the major leagues.[6][7] As a result, Jurrjens went into the 2009 season looking to avoid a "sophomore slump."[8]

Jurrjens again pitched very well in the first half of 2009, going just 7-7 but posting an excellent 2.91 ERA in 19 starts. Unlike 2008, there would be no drop-off in the second half for Jurrjens, as he went 7-3 with an exceptional 2.24 ERA in 15 second-half starts. Overall in 2009, Jurrjens went 14-10 while finishing third in the National League with a 2.60 ERA in 215 innings and tying for the league lead with 34 games started.[9]

2006 World Baseball Classic

Jurrjens joined fellow Curaçao native Andruw Jones on the Netherlands national baseball team for the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Jurrjens pitched one inning against Puerto Rico in the WBC, giving up three runs and earning him a loss.


External links


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