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Zach Greinke, Wonderchild

Zach Greinke is one of my favorite players already. I already ordered a shirt from with his name and number on it to add to my fledgling out of town collection (consisting of Brian Giles, Adam Dunn, and now Greinke). There are many interesting Greinke tidbits that not everyone knows:

  1. He started pitching his senior year of highschool
  2. He's still only 21 years old
  3. There is no one close to him in history comparison wise yet; the closest is Bret Saberhagen
What are Greinke's chances of turning into Saberhagen? Well his 50th percentile PECOTA projection has him around 25-30 VORP a year, but it is more likely that he will go somewhere near his 75th or 90th percentile projection. PECOTA is pessimistic due to the lack of a track record and relatively small professional sample size. Greinke is entirely capable of being Saberhagen or Greg Maddux version 2.0, but still not everyone knows who he is. If Greinke survives the injury nexus of young pitchers, I can see him putting up numbers in his career that would net him 250 wins if he wasn't with Kansas City.

Here's something fun: In Baseball Mogul 2006, Greinke is given the ability of his 50th percentile PECOTA forecast. From his real life 2004, plus his fake 2005-2011, Greinke is 104-82, with a 3.89 ERA, 1,210 K, and 311 BB. He has put up numbers equal to his mid-range projection, and I expect more out of him in real life. So what can we expect by 2011? Sans record, since we don't know how long KC's efforts will be futile. I can see the K's and Walks being roughly there; his Baseball Mogul K/BB is far in his career it is 3.76. It amazes me how sometimes these simulation games can be so right and so wrong at the same time with some players. By the way, here's some information Rob and Rany need to pass along to Allard Baird: Adam Dunn has 281 HR in a Royal's uniform in 6 years (2006-2011). Quickly, sign him! I also got the Royals to the 2011 World Series, but lost to the Mets...sigh. Oh, and Mark Teahen developed power! Again with the lack of reality...

So what can we expect for career totals from Zach Greinke? Well, his closest comp is Bret Saberhagen, so lets take a look at some of his career figures:

Bret Saberhagen
90.5 Career WARP3
66.25 JAWS
876 PRAR

3.34 Career ERA, 1715 K:471 BB (3.64 K/BB) 0.165 K/PA, 6.01 K/9

Just to be scary, here's Greinke so far... 3.81 Career ERA, 113 K:30 BB (3.76 K/BB), 0.166 K/PA, 6.15 K/9

The ERA is sure to drop, but if those rates stay the same, and Greinke stays healthy, the upside is Bret Saberhagen, and maybe even better. Greinke has an insane assortment of pitches and uses speeds between roughly 62 and 94 in his games. The 62 mph pitch makes everything look like the Nolan Express afterwards. Greinke is a special pitcher who is receiving special care in Kansas City. Don't take watching him for granted; I can't wait until the Red Sox face him so I can watch him for the first time in awhile. Sadly, the World Series was lost in 2011 in part because Greinke tore his rotator cuff, and Jon Papelbon had to start on 2 days rest like in the old days...for the love of Rany Jazayerli, don't let this happen in real life!