Apopka High School graduate Zack Greinke has signed a six-year, $206.5-million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In the 2015 season Greinke had the lowest earned run average (ERA) (1.66) baseball has seen in 20 years. He finished with a 19-3 record, led the majors in on-base percentage against (.231) and quality starts (30). As testimony to his consistency, he went at least six innings in all 32 of his starts.
In his three years with the Dodgers, Greinke went a combined 51-15 with a 2.30 ERA.
Greinke turned 32 in October.
He originally signed a six-year, $147-million contract with the Dodgers prior to the 2012 season, but the deal gave him an opt-out option after three years. He exercised that provision last month, walking away from the remaining $71 million on his existing contract.
Greinke was born in Orlando, the son of teachers Donald and Marsha Greinke. He was active in Little League and also excelled in tennis and golf tournaments as a youth. As a teenager, Greinke helped lead his team to the Senior League World Series title in 1999. He played shortstop for the team and his coach estimated that he hit close to .700 in the tournament.
Greinke was primarily a shortstop when he started playing baseball at Apopka High School. He hit over .400 with 31 home runs in his high school career. He worked as a relief pitcher as a sophomore and junior, before becoming a starting pitcher as a senior. During his senior season, in 2002, Greinke compiled a 9–2 record, a 0.55 ERA, and 118 strikeouts in 63 innings. He also held opposing batters to a .107 average. He led his team to a 32–2 record and their third straight district title, and he was selected as Gatorade National Player of the Year. After the high school season ended, he played in the Florida Athletic Coaches Association All-Star Classic and impressed pro scouts with his performance against some of the best hitters in the country.
Greinke was selected in the first round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft by the Kansas City Royals, who felt he was a polished player who could move quickly through their system. Greinke turned down a scholarship offer from Clemson University to sign with the Royals for a $2.5 million signing bonus.
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