2004 MLB Draft Interview: Jered Weaver

Jered Weaver has torn through the opposition this season playing for Long Beach State. Had they been able to throw the right-hander out there everyday, they would be shoe-ins for a National Title. They aren't that lucky, but as long as Weaver is playing, he won't have to worry about his draft status, which will take care of itself, and should place him in the top 3 picks, if not #1 overall.

Currently, Jered Weaver is just a college kid with a great arm. He has been the poster boy for a brilliant season and is the face of Long Beach State Athletics and earned at least one National Player of the Year honor for his impressive '04 season.

His stats have been off the charts, but it isn't about the recognition that has earned him Louisville Slugger Player of the Week honors six times.

"Individual honors are nice, but it's all about the team for me," Weaver said. "Our goal is to get to Omaha, and I'm going to do everything I can to do that."

Another story within the story there is the character of the young prospect. Having that mentality now will aid his future. And it is a future that could begin quickly after the draft.

Kevin Towers, General Manager of the San Diego Padres, said Weaver could potentially play in the Majors this year.

It is rare that any pitcher goes straight to the Majors and those who do often find greatnesss.

But Weaver has the pedigree. His brother currently pitches for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jeff Weaver. However, the irony lies in the fact that Jeff is a former first round selection of the Tigers, having his best professional seasons thusfar in Detroit.

In a way, this is familiar territory for Jered. Living vicariously through his brother has helped him meet the challenges of today.

"With Jeff, I remember a lot of phone calls (prior to the draft) and stuff like that," Weaver recalled. "He had to stay focused. Like now, you deal with stuff when the time comes. It was hard when he and I were growing up because we were six years apart. Every time I wanted to hang out with him, I was always too young and it was definitely hard, but I have always looked up to him and he has always been there. It's awesome to have a Major League player to go to for advice on pitching. He always has been my role model, along with my father."

And the prospect of facing Jeff as a professional?

Weaver deflects the question as cool as his demeanor on the mound, "There's not too many times the whole family gets to see both of us pitch. At CS Northridge earlier this season, all my family was there, a day after we all saw Jeff at Dodger Stadium. It was cool."

Weaver was once thought to be a lock to go #1 overall to the Padres. That is no longer a certainty, but few expect to see Weaver fall out of the top 3 selections.

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