Donald Zackary "Zack" Greinke (pronounced /ˈɡɹɪŋki/) (born October 21, 1983 in Orlando, Florida) is a Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Kansas City Royals.
After being named the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2002, he was selected out of Apopka High School (and turning down a scholarship to Clemson) in the first round of the 2002 draft, he spent the winter of 2002-03 in the Puerto Rican League. Afterwards, he played for the Wilmington Blue Rocks and Wichita Wranglers, where he was named the Royals Minor League Pitcher of the Year, and The Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year, with a 15–4 record and 1.93 ERA. Greinke made his major-league debut on May 22, 2004 against the Oakland Athletics, starting the game where Reggie Jackson's number was retired.
He ended the 2004 season with a record of 8 wins and 11 losses (second-highest on the team, after Jimmy Gobble) and a 3.97 ERA. Greinke has been compared to Greg Maddux and Bret Saberhagen. He has sports endorsement deals with Adidas and Rawlings. However, Greinke's 2005 season was not as successful, as he went 5–17 with a 5.80 ERA.
Pitching in the American League, Greinke rarely bats due to the designated
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