Catcher Grayson Greiner announced his retirement from professional baseball today, posting a message on Twitter. He then extends profound thanks to his family, friends, agents, teammates, coaches, team staff and fans. “While I’ve given almost my entire life to playing this game, I’m extremely excited for the next chapter of my life,” he says. “I’ll miss you, baseball.”
Greiner’s professional career began when he was selected by the Tigers in the third round of the 2014 draft out of the University of South Carolina, getting a signing bonus of $529.4K at that time. Unusually tall for a catcher at 6’6″, he was nonetheless considered a strong defender in his time as a prospect. He was also considered to have decent pop in his bat but wasn’t expected to be an especially strong bat-to-ball hitter or baserunner. Baseball America had him in the 20-25 range in their lists of top Tiger farmhands on three separate occasions, projecting him to be a solid backup catcher unless his bat surpassed expectations.
He was able to reach the big leagues in 2018, the first of five straight seasons where he made an appearance. He never really carved out a regular role, however, with his 58 games and 224 plate appearances in 2019 being career highs. Over those five years, he got a bit under a full season of work, getting into 139 games and taking 485 trips to the plate. He hit nine home runs but struck out in 32.2% of his plate appearances, producing a batting line of .201/.275/.307.
His time as a Tiger went through 2021, but he was outrighted off their roster after that season. He elected free agency and signed a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks, getting into a couple of games as a COVID substitute but otherwise staying in the minors that year. Returning to free agency in the most recent offseason, he signed a minor league deal with the Twins but didn’t make the club out of camp. He was released and signed another minor league deal, this time with the Rockies. He got into 20 games for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes this year but hit just .186/.269/.286 before deciding it was time to hang up his spikes.
Greiner wasn’t a star, though by making it to the majors he realized a dream that many have but few can turn into reality. He got into 139 big league games, collecting 87 hits, nine homers, 42 runs scored and 46 batted in. MLBTR congratulates him on his career and wishes him the best of luck in whatever’s over the horizon.