A Whole Lot about Justin Masterson

February 10, 2008

Ask me who my favorite baldie in the Red Sox organization is and, believe it or not, I won’t say Kevin Youkilis.

I’ll say Justin Masterson.

I had a chance to “meet” Masterson at the Rookie Development Program Autograph signing about a month ago, on January 16th. He was very silly and very sweet to poor little starstruck me.
I was quite literally struck speechless at being this close to Clay Buchholz.
I kept trying to zoom in on his face and catch him smiling or laughing.

As I zoomed out at one point, Masterson leaned back, trying to let me get a better view.

We both got laughs from that.

I asked him to smile for the camera and he pulled this face.

…and then waved.

He laughed again at that.

I handed him my baseball to sign and he handed it back, as the people in front of me had finally moved on from Clay.

I knew a bit about him before going to the signing (he has started and done relief work, has a funky sidearm delivery, throws two really good pitches and one good pitch that includes a 94-mph sinker, and basically anything else you can find out from his SoxProspects page), but I decided to look up a bit more about him.

I found out that he was 22 years old and predominantly a catcher until his sophomore year in college. He was born in Kingston, Jamaica, because his father was working there. He doesn’t know if he wants to start or relieve, and even though he’d been told starters make more, he doesn’t care about the money (I know, they all say it, but it’s still fun to hear). He is often compared to Derek Lowe in terms of pitching style and projected to play a Mike Timlin-like role (which is a just fine comparison–Timlin has 4 rings!). He was also very relaxed and silly about being (at the time) in both possible packages the Sox were offering to the Twins for Johan Santana:

“It doesn’t bother me too much. I’m with the Boston Red Sox, the greatest organization, so it’s fun. Every once in a while, I’ll get a text from a friend: ‘I just heard this about the trade.’ OK, man, have fun with that.”

(I do like that he called the Sox “the greatest organization”. +1, Justin.)

His WHIP in 14 games in Class A Lowell (his pro debut, after being drafted in 2006) was 0.69 (all in relief). At A Lancaster, early this year, where he was converted to a starter, it was 0.82. At AA Portland, where he finished this year, also starting, it was 1.16. His ERA has been above 4 at every level (except for Lowell), but his 3.52:1 K:BB ratio is far above Mike Timlin’s 2.14:1 (for comparison, Josh Beckett’s is 4.85:1).

In 10 starts in AA Portland in late 2007, he averaged 9.16 K/9 innings pitched, and 2.79 BB/9IP.

And to close it off, some more pictures!

Image from RIGHT HERE.
This is the ball I got signed at the Development Program signing!
Image from San Diego State University.
Pitching in college… look how straight his throwing arm is!

All of the following are from sittingstill.net. (HUGE shout-out, Kelly, for your awesome pictures. They’re going to be on here a lot.)

And I have decided, in the spirit of papel-blog’s NDRaPRSFftEMRSoML, to begin tUfWJMSHH: the Union for Why Justin Masterson Should Have Hair. Take that last one, for example, and photoshop hair onto his head (and make it darker, because then it looks less like a bad ski hat):

Is it just me or, given what he looks like with “hair”, if he followed the advice of tUfWJMSHH, he could have as many girls chasing him as Jacoby does? Too bad he’s married… I wonder if he has any (younger) brothers?

9 Responses to “A Whole Lot about Justin Masterson”

  1. Kelly said

    See, I think he’s perfect without hair. First, because he makes me think of Mr. Clean. And then, because (as I’m sure you’ve heard) he gets to talk about it with Jed Lowrie.

    Nice pictures of him, BTW!

    He’s not only married but quite open about his religion; I suspect girls chasing him is not going to be much of a motivating factor for him!

    (Apologies in advance if wordpress doesn’t like markup…)

  2. Liza said

    I actually hadn’t heard that BPR recording–thanks for linking it. They’re very silly.

    The pictures are really screencaps from a video. xD That’s why they’re such terrible quality.

    And oh, I wasn’t in any way suggesting he’d be unfaithful to his wife! I was just saying I thought he’d look better. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Kelly said

    No worries–I was kidding, not implying that you were suggesting that! ^_^ He really is, as far as I can tell, an incredible combination of a warm, genuinely friendly and outgoing human being and a man of great character. And I’m still thrilled to death we didn’t trade him for Santana.

  4. Liza said

    Just making sure I was clear. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I was so happy when I heard Santana was out of the AL and we got to keep our prospects. I think everyone was happy with how everything turned out (except Hank Steinbrenner, and I don’t really mind making him unhappy).

  5. Hey Liza, this is Meryl Masterson, Justin’s wife…love the blog. He does have a younger brother, just as cute and sweet. Take care and have fun with the pictures. I like him bald but each to their own right? ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Liza said

    Well, hey–this is a surprise! Thanks for commenting!

    Tell Justin hi from the totally awed girl with the camera from the RDP signing! I’m coming down to Ft. Myers in a week, next Friday. I hope to see him pitch then. I also want to see him play some time this year, at Portland, Pawtucket, or Boston, doesn’t really matter to me! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Look at me, going all starstruck again. But thanks again for stopping by!

  7. Melanie said

    Go Red Sox and go Justin! I saw that his wife and he went to Bethel College in Mishawaka, IN which is where my husband and I met and graduated from way back in 1999. Congrats on everything and strike’em out Justin!

  8. […] become the Curt Schilling of the Red Sox Wives. We see that you like to keep an eye on the groupies interact with your husband’s fans on their blogs. You could cut out the media middleman when you have a cause you’d like to […]

  9. Dolly said

    Meryl is just as sweet & nice as her husband it seems. She also bakes and sells her homemade cookies which are probably the BEST cookies in the world!! My husband and I are ‘hooked’ on them. Try ’em…

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