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Oh no-no: Class of '04 in league of its own

Oh no-no: Class of '04 in league of its own

Oh no-no: Class of '04 in league of its own

It's the most no-hitters by a Draft class since Nolan Ryan dined alone.

The 2004 First-Year Player Draft produced a remarkable trove of pitching talent, highlighted by Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander and a couple of serious contenders for the award in Jered Weaver and Gio Gonzalez.

Homer Bailey
Back-to-back Homer

But with each passing year, the class of '04 becomes known more for something else: no-hitters.

Four pitchers from that class have now combined for six no-nos. That's one shy of the great Ryan, Draft class of '65, who threw seven in his Hall of Fame career. Four of the six no-hitters have come in the past two seasons, and five since the start of the 2011 season.

The four pitchers who have achieved immortality were taken within the span of 11 picks in the first round. Verlander went No. 2 overall to the Tigers. Phil Humber was third, taken by the Mets. Homer Bailey was taken seventh by Cincinnati, and Weaver 12th by the Angels.

That's quite a run.

"There was a lot of talented guys that came out of that Draft. Obviously they're showing what they can do at the big league level now," Weaver said. "Kudos to Bailey for throwing the no-hitter. Obviously every pitcher around the league respects that. That's a special time. Hopefully he's out celebrating right now. That was a good Draft class. A lot of the guys at the top 15 picks are doing some special things in the big leagues right now. Hopefully we can keep surprising people."

Verlander is the biggest name, and was the first from the class to get on the board when he spun a no-no in 2007 against Milwaukee. He also collected the second, in 2011 against Toronto.

Then came the deluge, starting in 2012. Humber threw a perfect game against the Mariners in April. Weaver tossed a no-hitter against the Twins in May. And Bailey threw his first no-no against the Pirates in September.

When Bailey followed it up with his second on Tuesday night, it made six no-hitters for four pitchers. And it's not at all hard to imagine Gonzalez (No. 38 overall pick) or even Phil Hughes (23rd) or Yovani Gallardo (46th) joining the club. Hughes and Gallardo have both taken no-hit bids into the eighth inning.

It would just add to what's already a remarkable record for an impressive Draft class.

Matthew Leach is a writer for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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