Prior to each ATB season, owners pour through the stats of the last MLB season to find the next great surprise, almost always a relative unknown when looking at the greats of baseball over the past 130 years.
After the 2009 MLB season many owners had targeted Zach Greinke. His stats with the KC Royals were impressive - 229 IP, 195 H, 55 BB, 242 K.
His ERA+ score was the jewel of the bunch though. At 205, it was the best mark since Roger Clemens 226 in 2005 and the only mark over 200 since 1996 from a pitcher not name Roger or Pedro. In fact, taking Pedro and Roger out of the mix, Greinke is just the 4th starting pitcher since 1968 to score over 200!
The Potomac Rage selected Greinke in the 6th round and the buzz started after a few exhibitions in which he pitched well. To start the season however, Greinke struggled in his first two games. On opening day vs the Eugene Psycho Llamas Greinke lasted just 4 innings giving up 7 hits and 4 runs (2 earned). Five days later vs the Helena Handbaskets he fared even worse - 3.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R. In these two starts the 25 year old struck out just 4 batters.
Two starts ago against Planet 10 Greinke turned it around - 8 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 6 K's but again he was tagged with a loss, his third in three starts. On April 21st against Bostons Terrier, everything truly game together. A 5 hit, 11 K, complete game, that was oh so close to being a shutout. His one run was unearned.
It is much to early to tell what kind of ATB career Greinke might turn it. But as of the end of April in year 1 Greinke now has a 2.55 ERA and in 25 innings, has recorded 21 strikeouts against 9 walks. Nice start Zack, and congrats on your first ATB career win.