Seth Adam Greisinger
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 200 lb.
- School University of Virginia
- High School McLean High School
- Debut June 3, 1998
- Final Game June 5, 2005
- Born July 29, 1975 in Kansas City, KS USA
Seth Greisinger won a bronze medal for the United States at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and was a first-round draft pick. His career was derailed by injuries and he missed two complete years and most of a third. He later pitched with the Yomiuri Giants.
Greisinger won 1993 Gatorade Virginia Player of the Year honors in high school and was the 7th-round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians in the 1993 amateur draft. He did not sign and went on to the University of Virginia. He went 6-7 with a 4.70 ERA for the school in 1995 and then dazzled as a junior. That year, he was 12-2 with 141 K and 78 hits allowed in 123 innings, posting a 1.76 ERA that led the Atlantic Coast Conference, beating Kris Benson by .26. Benson beat Greisinger for ACC All-Star SP honors. Greisinger ranked 7th in NCAA Division I in strikeouts, tied for 7th in wins and was second to only Steve Boyles in ERA. Among starters, he had the lowest ERA in NCAA Division I. He was a consensus first-team All-American pick by all three major sources. In the 1996 Olympics, Seth was 3-0 with a 5.00 ERA, walking 4 in 18 innings for the bronze medalists. He won the Baseball America Summer Baseball Player of the Year Award for being the first pitcher to win nine games for the USA national team, breaking the record of 8 held by Jim Abbott, Ben McDonald and John Powell. The Detroit Tigers took Greisinger with the sixth pick of the 1996 amateur draft, the 5th pitcher taken, and he signed for a $1,415,000 bonus. Baseball America rated him the #2 prospect in the Detroit chain before he had ever thrown a pitch, behind only Mike Drumright.
1997-98: Quick ticket to the majors
Seth debuted at AA with the 1997 Jacksonville Suns, going 10-6 but with a 5.20 ERA, allowing 194 hits in 159 1/3 IP. He allowed a Southern League-high 29 home runs and started 28 games, the most in the SL. In '98, Greisinger did much better with the Toledo Mud Hens (3-4, 2.91), earning a mid-season call-up to Detroit, where he was a respectable 6-9 with a 5.12 ERA on a 65-97 team with a 4.93 ERA. He won five of his last seven starts. It was his longest major-league season, alas.
In 1998, he also graduated college with a finance degree.
1999-2001: The lost years
He had Tommy John surgery and only made a couple rehab appearances in '99 (3.86 ERA in one start for the Lakeland Tigers, his only class A appearance ever and 0-1, 5.87 in two games for Toledo). He then missed all of 2000 and 2001.
2002-2003: Attempting to come back
Now almost 27, Greisinger was no longer the hot young prospect. He split 2002 between the Erie SeaWolves (2-0, 1.29 in four starts), Toledo (1-1, 4.11 in 3 starts) and Detroit (2-2, 6.21 in 8 starts). Seth spent all of 2003 in Toledo, doing okay with a 6-9, 3.97 record and only 23 walks in 136 IP.
2004-2005: Last years playing in the States
Greisinger signed with the Minnesota Twins in the off-season. He had a 2-5, 6.18 record after starting the year with the Twins and spent most of the 2004 year with the Rochester Red Wings, going 5-5 with a 4.96 ERA. He still exhibited good control (19 BB in 74 1/3 IP) but allowed a .319 average and only fanned 44. He signed with the Washington Nationals after the 2004 season but was sent to the Atlanta Braves in a conditional trade. He had one decent start for the 2005 Braves (7 hits in 5 innings but only 2 runs and a no-decision) and was 4-7 with a 3.01 ERA for the Richmond Braves, allowing just a .212 average. He finished 16 innings shy of tying for the International League lead in ERA. He was picked to play in the AAA All-Star Game but was released by Atlanta prior to the game so that he could negotiate with the Kia Tigers. He finished his major league career with a 10-16, 5.51 record.
Greisinger went 6-6 with a 3.93 ERA for Kia in 2005 and would have ranked 4th in ERA had he qualified, meaning he missed two ERA leader boards that year due to a lack of innings. In 2006, he went 14-12 with a 3.02 ERA in 29 games for Kia and struck out 164 batters in 188 innings. He tied for fourth in the Korea Baseball Organization in victories, was second in strikeouts and 10th in ERA.
Seth signed a $400,000 (plus incentives) deal with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows to join them in 2007. He has started off strong, going 8-2 with a 2.15 ERA as one of the top imports of the year. He finished 16-8 and led the Central League in wins. He had a 2.84 ERA and allowed only 31 walks in 209 innings. He was second to Hisanori Takahashi in ERA, led the CL in innings, allowed the most hits in the league (185), tied for second in shutotus (2) and tied Daisuke Miura for 5th with 159 strikeouts.
Greisinger moved on to the Yomiuri Giants as a free agent for 2008; Yomiuri drew criticism for trying to buy a title, having brought in free agents Greisinger, Alex Ramirez, Seung-yeop Lee and Michihiro Ogasawara in the last couple years. He pitched four season with Yomiuri, his best year being his first, when he went 17-9, 3.06, followed by a 13-6, 3.47 season in 2008. However, the next two seasons were tough, as he went a combined 1-7 in 15 starts as injuries got the best of him. He then moved to the Chiba Lotte Marines in 2012 and made a nice comeback, as he went 12-8, 2.24 in 25 starts. In his final season, 2013, he was 5-4, 4.54 in 13 starts. He retired after that season.