Matt Garza, starting pitcher for the Texas Rangers, was first drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 2005. He moved quickly through the organization, playing with their minor league teams for less than a full season. After 135-2/3 innings pitched in the minors, Garza was called up to the Twins in August, 2006. He fared much better, however, in the minors, ending his time there with a 14-4 record and a 1.99 ERA. In contrast, in 10 games with the Twins, Garza had a 3-6 record with a 5.76 ERA. He pitched better with the Twins in 2007 but they traded him to the Tampa Bay Rays after the season ended.
MLB Pitchers for 2013
Mariano Rivera, closer for the New York Yankees, is probably the best closer in MLB's history. Rivera, who has spent his entire career in a Yankees uniform, holds the major league record for career saves. With all of his accomplishments, Rivera, who will be retiring at the end of the 2013 season, is certain to find himself inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as soon as he becomes eligible.
Jose Valverde, former closer for the Detroit Tigers, started as a replacement closer for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2003. Two years later, he became their regular closer. In December, 2007, after five years with the Diamondbacks, Valverde was traded to the Houston Astros.
Andrew Bailey, closer for the Boston Red Sox, was first drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2006. He spent his first three years in the minor leagues, coming up to the major leagues for the first time in 2009. His first season was an excellent one and he was rewarded with the American League Rookie of the Year award. His statistics for 2009 include 68 games played, 83.1 innings pitched, 26 saves, 1.84 ERA, and 91 strikeouts to 24 walks.
Barry Zito, starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, was a very strong player in high school and college. He was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 1999 and he spent his first season and a half in the minor leagues. He was called up in 2000 and pitched in 14 games for the Athletics. The following season, his rookie year, Zito played in 35 games, pitched 214.1 innings, and had an ERA of 3.49, a 17-8 record, and 205 strikeouts to 80 walks.
Tim Lincecum, starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, was drafted by the Giants in 2006. He spent 2006 in the minor leagues and he was called up to the majors in 2007, playing in 24 games with the Giants. In his first season in the majors, Lincecum pitched 146.1 innings and he had an ERA of 4.00 with a 7-5 win-loss record and 150 strikeouts to 65 walks.
Zack Greinke, starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, did not start pitching until his later high school years. In his senior year in high school, he had a 9-2 record, 0.55 ERA, and 118 strikeouts in 63 innings pitched.