- October 21, 1983
- 6' 2"
- 190 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 5-22-2004 with KCA
- Allstar Selections:
- 2009 CY, 2009 TSN
Donald Zackary "Zack" Greinke (pronounced /ˈɡrɪŋki/ gring-kee; born October 21, 1983) is a Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers. Greinke won the American League Cy Young Award in 2009 with the Kansas City Royals.
High school & minor league
Greinke was born in Orlando, Florida. After being named the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2002, he was selected out of Apopka High School in the first round of the 2002 draft. Greinke turned down a scholarship to Clemson to sign with the Royals.
In 2003, he played for the Wilmington Blue Rocks and Wichita Wranglers, where he was named the Royals Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Carolina League Pitcher of the Year, and The Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year, with a 15–4 record and 1.93 ERA.
Major league career
Kansas City Royals
Greinke made his major league debut on May 22, 2004 against the Oakland Athletics.
Greinke's first major league hit was a home run off Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Russ Ortiz in a 12–11 loss on June 10, 2005.
Greinke left spring training for personal reasons in late February 2006. It was later revealed that he was suffering from social anxiety disorder and depression. He reported back to the Royals' spring training facility in Surprise, Arizona, on April 17, where he underwent ongoing pitching sessions. He was placed on the 60-day disabled list due to psychological issues and took time away from baseball entirely until returning on a rehab assignment with Wichita.
In 2007, he returned to the Royals rotation at the start of the season, but was sent to the bullpen in early May.
Greinke's 2008 saw him return to the rotation and put up a good year. His 3.47 ERA was the best by a full-time Royals starter in 11 years.
On January 26, 2009, Greinke agreed to a four-year contract with the Royals worth $38 million.
Greinke started off 2009 by not allowing a run in his first 24 innings. Greinke's 2008 ended with 14 scoreless innings, which meant that for 38 innings in a row, he had not given up a run. Greinke was named American League Pitcher of the Month for April for all tops in the Majors his 5 wins, 0.50 ERA and 44 strikeouts.
On August 25, Greinke struck out 15 batters, breaking Mark Gubicza's record for strikeouts in a single game for the Royals. On August 30, Greinke had a one-hit complete game against the Seattle Mariners.
His record for the 2009 season was 16–8, and he posted an ERA of 2.16, the lowest in MLB. On October 21, Greinke was named American League Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News. On October 28, Greinke was awarded the MLBPA Players Choice AL Pitcher of the Year, which was announced during Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio.
On November 17, 2009, Greinke won the American League Cy Young Award. Greinke credited some of his performance to his use of "modern pitching metrics"—statistics on team defense and defense independent pitching statistics—to calibrate his own approach to pitching. Greinke specifically mentioned "FIP" (fielding independent pitching), an indicator developed by sabermetrician Tom Tango, as his favorite statistic. "That's pretty much how I pitch, to try to keep my FIP as low as possible.
On December 17, 2010, Greinke reportedly asked the Royals to trade him, citing he was not motivated to play for a rebuilding team. On December 19, he was traded to the Brewers with Yuniesky Betancourt and 2 million dollars for Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jeremy Jeffress, and Jake Odorizzi. He was given the number 13, instead of his preferred number 23, due to number 23 already being issued to Rickie Weeks. In February 2011, Greinke suffered a fractured rib while playing basketball. He subsequently started the 2011 season on the disabled list.
Greinke made his Brewers debut on May 4, 2011 against the Atlanta Braves. After a slow start to the season, Greinke has begun to pitch exceptionally well for the Brewers. As of September 19, Greinke is 15-6 with a 3.75 ERA, and 191 strikeouts in just over 160 innings pitched. Greinke is also an astounding 9-0 pitching at Miller Park, the first Brewer to go undefeated in his first 9 decisions at Miller Park.
Greinke has a 4-seam fastball that he can throw consistently from 93-96 and occasionally 97. Depending on the field that he is pitching in, he also throws a 2-seam fastball to try to induce ground balls. His best pitch is considered his slider that many current major league players say is the best pitch in all of baseball, having sharp 12-6 movement, ranging from 86-90 mph. Greinke also throws two curveballs, one that is thrown in the 60's to throw hitters off balance, and a more conventional curve thrown in the mid to upper 70's.
Greinke is married to Miss Daytona Beach USA 2008 Emily Kuchar. Greinke met Kuchar in high school at Apopka High School. Kuchar is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.
- Zack Greinke