Jon Steven Garland is a professional baseball player who plays as a starting pitcher. Garland began his playing career at the John F. Kennedy High School where he was named to the All-American High School First Team and was named as the All-State Player of the Year for two years.
Garland decided to forego college and appeared for the 1997 MLB Amateur Draft where he was picked at 10th overall by the Chicago Cubs.
Garland began playing at the Rookie League with the Arizona League Cubs in 1997. He ended the season with a 3-2 record and a 2.70 ERA as the starting pitcher in 7 of the 10 games he played. Although Garland began 1998 with the A-League Rockford Cubbies, he was traded out on trade-deadline, to the Chicago White Sox. Matt Karchner, who came to the Cubs after a dismal season with the White Sox, continued his struggles while Garland, who was now playing for the Hickory Crawdads, wasn’t faring any better with a 1-4 record and a 5.03 ERA.
In 1999, Garland began with the Winston-Salem Warthogs in the Advanced A-League before moving up to the AA-League with the Birmingham Barons. A 3-1 record with the Barons salvaged the 5-7 record earlier in the year for the Warthogs. Garland began 2000 with the Barons and after a single 6-inning shutout game, was promoted to the AAA-League to play for the Charlotte Knights.
In 16 games for the Knights, Garland shone through with an emphatic 9-2 win-loss record at an ERA of 2.26 with 63 strikeouts. This was good enough for a call-up to the MLB roster for the Chicago White Sox. Garland played 15 games for the White Sox and ended the season with a 4-8 record. Starting 2001 again with the Knights, Garland was called-up to the MLB roster after just 5 games and thereafter, began making an impact on the team.
Garland would go on to star in the White Sox starting rotation for the next seven seasons, most notably in 2005 when he ended the season with a 18-10 record, a 3.50 ERA, career-high 115 strikeouts and therefore, a place in the 2005 MLB All-Star Weekend as a part of the American League team. Garland would, later, go on to win the 2005 World Series with the White Sox to get his only championship ring so far.
At the end of the 2005 season, Garland signed an extension to his contract and went 18-7 in the season to take his “wins” tally, between 2004 and 2006, to 46 – the sixth highest for that period. It was at the end of the 2007 season that Garland, who was on the verge of a trade a year back, was back in the limelight as he moved to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Garland had another impressive season with the Angels as he ended with a 14-8 record and a 4.90 ERA from 32 games. It was also Garland’s 7th successive seasons of 32 games or more, as a starter.