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View Full Version : Zack Greinke Makes Debut Today


WilmasPimp
05-22-2004, 01:51 PM
20-year old phenom Zack Greinke will start for KC today. Widely regarded as the top pitching prospect in baseball, Greinke is considered by many scouts to possess the best mechanics of any teenage pitcher in the last TWENTY YEARS.

Ben Hansen
05-22-2004, 02:00 PM
I looked at his numbers in the minors and they weren't that impressive for someone people are saying is better than Mark Freakin' Prior! Not a chance in hell.

I know Prior was 21 when he got to the Bigs and had all kinds of college experience, but he was dominant in the minors (in his brief stint - offensively, too) and he's been dominant even more so in the Majors.

I hope Zach is as good as advertised but I won't be taking the scouts' word for it. They said the same thing about Rick Ankiel before he went "Ricky Vaughn" on the Cards.

Mark Prior is the best pitcher in baseball.

WilmasPimp
05-22-2004, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by Ben Hansen
I looked at his numbers in the minors and they weren't that impressive for someone people are saying is better than Mark Freakin' Prior!

Ummm, Ben. Greinke went 11-1 with a 1.14 ERA in his first season as a pro last year. His career K/BB ratio is 10/1.

Not impressive?

Ben Hansen
05-22-2004, 03:17 PM
So far THIS year, at AAA Omaha, Greinke had this statline:

6 GS, 1-1 W/L, 2.51 ERA, 23 K/6 BB, 25 H in 28.2 IP.

Good, yes. Not quite Mark Prior numbers though.

WilmasPimp
05-22-2004, 05:58 PM
Ben, next time you rave about Nic Wise, I'll chime in with "He's not that good. Emeka Okafor is better. Okafor is the best college player in the nation."

Then you'll know how irrelevant you sound right now.

ZONACAT
05-22-2004, 05:59 PM
Oakland is making him look like a All-star. Than again, Oaklands lineup makes every pitcher look like a All-star.

Ben Hansen
05-22-2004, 06:22 PM
Originally posted by WilmasPimp
Ben, next time you rave about Nic Wise, I'll chime in with "He's not that good. Emeka Okafor is better. Okafor is the best college player in the nation."

Then you'll know how irrelevant you sound right now.

That was a terrible, terrible analogy with the Wise-Okafor comparison. I didn't say Mark Prior is better NOW, I'm saying that it's pretty offbase to call Zack the best prospect in the last 20 years when you have a guy that's going to be nearly impossible to top.

Also, weren't you raving about Affeldt and Runelvys at this time last year??

WilmasPimp
05-22-2004, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by Ben Hansen
ThI didn't say Mark Prior is better NOW, I'm saying that it's pretty offbase to call Zack the best prospect in the last 20 years when you have a guy that's going to be nearly impossible to top.

Whoever said Greinke was the best prospect in the last 20 years must have deleted their post, because I don't see it.

WilmasPimp
05-23-2004, 01:01 PM
Excellent recap of Greinke's debut from Joe Posnanski, one of the better baseball writers in the country:

Greinke is, by most accounts, the best pitching prospect in all of baseball. But his pitching brilliance comes from something hard to describe. He doesn't throw a 98-mph fastball — most of the time, he doesn't even hit 90. He doesn't often throw a back-breaking curve or filthy slider. There are some baseball scouts who yawn when watching him pitch, although those might be the scouts who aren't paying attention.

What Greinke does is the unexpected. About an hour and a half before his first major-league start, he put on his jacket and walked out of the clubhouse. Where was he going? What was he doing? No one knew. No one would even guess. “I've never seen a kid quite like him,” Royals manager Tony Pe๑a said while Greinke was out doing whatever it was he was doing. “It's like he has no fear. I mean, I'm sure he will be nervous …”

“I wasn't nervous,” Greinke would say after the game. And you know what? He did not look nervous. In the moments before his first start, he watched video of Oakland hitters while some wrestling show played on the television over his head. More than once, he glanced up to the wrestling just to see who was hitting who with the chair.

There was all sorts of confusion before the game. The Royals did not officially add Greinke to the roster until about 45 minutes before the game started. He warmed up while Reggie Jackson — yes, it was Reggie Jackson day in Oakland — talked about himself in the third person and explained that he could not have been successful without the help of such companies as Office Max (at least he didn't pimp the Hit-A-Way).

Photographers surrounded Greinke, but they were all taking photographs of Reggie, who took his sweet time going around the ballpark and soaking in the cheers. The game started 10 minutes late.

“I was ready to pitch,” Greinke would say. “I would not have cared if it started a half-hour late.” His first pitch was an 88-mph fastball to Eric Byrnes for a strike. Greinke's nine family members and friends who were sitting behind the Royals dugout cheered. Greinke caught the ball and was immediately ready to pitch again.

And for the next five innings, he put on a show. He pitched fast, he pitched slow, he took a long time between pitches, he pitched at breakneck speed, he pitched with a long windup, he pitched without a windup at all, he did everything but throw Satchel Paige's famous hesitation pitch or Bugs Bunny's super-slow ball.

He made it through the first inning 1-2-3. He would have made it through the second that way, too — except for some inexplicable reason Mendy Lopez was playing right field. Lopez had played precisely seven innings of right field in his career before Saturday — Pe๑a obviously needed to get his .108 batting average in the lineup. Lopez let a fly ball drop in front of him, and it was ruled a double. Greinke worked around it.

The scoreboard spelled his name “Greinki,” and the Oakland fans who actually made it out for Reggie Jackson Day — the place was half-empty — were asking each other who this guy was. But A's manager Ken Macha was so impressed that in the third inning, with the Royals threatening, he actually pulled the infield in, the ultimate sign of respect for a pitcher. It is a manager's way of saying, “We're not scoring many runs off that guy.”

Greinke got his first strikeout in the third, when Byrnes watched an 88-mph fastball graze the outside corner. He made his first big mistake in the fourth, when he hung a first-pitch curveball to Erubiel Durazo, who does not miss many first-pitch hanging curveballs. Durazo deposited it over the right-field wall for a two-run homer.

“The ball kind of broke into his bat,” Greinke said, an interesting way of looking at it.

But the most fascinating moment came with two outs in the fifth inning. That's when Greinke faced Chavez with the bases loaded. Here's how that at-bat went:

First pitch: An 89-mph fastball for a strike.

(Greinke got the ball and immediately was ready to pitch again).

Second pitch: A 63-mph curveball that Chavez barely ticked foul.

(Now Greinke got the ball and took his time. He stretched. He looked around at the runners. He listened to the crowd, which was at its loudest of the day. “I thought there would be more people,” Greinke said).

Third pitch: An 89-mph fastball that Chavez fouled away.

(Greinke looked perturbed. He thought he might sneak that pitch by Chavez. This is pitching in the big leagues — good hitters find a way to stay alive. “He was on everything I threw,” Greinke would say later.).

Fourth pitch: A 91-mph fastball high and tight.

(When Greinke throws a pitch faster than 90-mph, there's a purpose behind it. He saves his speed for certain moments. He threw this one hard to back Chavez off the plate, and to set up something special).

Fifth pitch: A 62-mph curveball. One radar gun reading on it was 58-mph. Whatever the reading, it was slow enough to get passed by tractors on Kansas 36. Chavez tried to wait for it, and he kept trying, but he could not wait long enough. He reached out and hit a grounder to second, ending the inning.

“I wanted to throw that last pitch as slow as possible,” Greinke said. See, this is how the kid thinks. While other young pitchers want to throw harder, he tries to throw softer. While others want to blow hitters away, he wants to make them lunge and stagger. He walked off the field having given up two runs in five innings.

“I'll tell you, this kid is something else,” Pe๑a said. “I was very, very impressed. … We should have won that game. We should have won it.”

Class of 1990
05-23-2004, 03:53 PM
Sounds like a great future Yankee.
________
CHRYSLER FIFTH AVENUE HISTORY (http://www.dodge-wiki.com/wiki/Chrysler_Fifth_Avenue)

Ben Hansen
05-23-2004, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by Class of 1990
Sounds like a great future Yankee.

Exactly. How long until the Yanks or BoSox partake in a bidding war for this kid? Carlos "The Best Player in Baseball...Easily" Beltran (WP said that) is already gonna be heading that way soon I'm sure, so why not just trade Mike Sweeney and Angel Berroa there as well?

Plus, there's always Jeremy Affeldt and Runelvys Hernandez, too!

Just giving you **** JJ!

WilmasPimp
05-23-2004, 07:07 PM
Ben, thanks for hijacking this Greinke thread.

If you want a discussion about MLB in general, you should start another "Lyle Overbay is the most impressive player in baseball" thread.

Flem4Heisman
05-23-2004, 10:05 PM
I think it's time for Pimp and Hansen to take all this agression to the friendly confines of WP Ballpark. Pimp, we're still waiting for the next matchup. Hopefully your pitching staff can keep the ball from landing on Campbell so frequently next time.

I trust you Pimp. I picked him up in my fantasy league.

Ben Hansen
05-23-2004, 11:13 PM
The best players in baseball don't hit .270 like CB.

Not to mention you overlooked guys like Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero and Scott Rolen.

WilmasPimp
06-24-2004, 12:26 PM
Greinke's numbers through 6 starts (including where he would rank among league leaders if he had enough decisions to qualify):

3.00 ERA (5th)
0.97 WHIP (1st)

Flem4Heisman
06-24-2004, 03:16 PM
Somebody needs to get him some run support.