Craig Allen Grebeck
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 7", Weight 160 lb.
- School California State University, Dominguez Hills
- High School Lakewood (CA) High School
- Debut April 13, 1990
- Final Game June 2, 2001
- Born December 29, 1964 in Johnstown, PA USA
Craig Grebeck, signed as an undrafted free agent in 1986, went on to have a 12-year career as a utility player with five major league teams.
After scout Craig Wallenbrock signed Grebeck for the Chicago White Sox on August 13, 1986 out of Cal State Dominguez Hills, he spent the next 3+ years in the minors, moving up the chain. His batting average was decent, and he showed an above-average ability to draw walks.
His first chance in the majors was in 1990 at the age of 25, when he hit .168 in 119 at-bats. He played mostly third base, but also shortstop, second, and one game at DH. Although the average wasn't impressive, the Sox kept him and played him more the next season.
In 1991, he played what was to be the most games in his career in a single season, 107. He put up averages of .281/.386/.460, and had his peak of 6 home runs. He hit his only career grand slam on September 15th against Kyle Abbott of the California Angels
1992 was similarly satisfactory, with .268/.341/.387. It clearly sufficed for an all-purpose back-up infielder to hit that well.
The White Sox won their division in 1993 and were in fist place when the 1994 season was ended by a strike. Grebeck slumped to .226 in 1993, but hit .309 in 1994. He got a hit in the only postseason at-bat of his career in the 1993 ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays. In 1995, his last season with the White Sox, he hit .260.
The rest of his career was as a journeyman, playing for four teams in six years. He was with the Toronto Blue Jays for three of the seasons, with a peak average of .363 in 1999 in 34 games. In 2000, Grebeck was making a run at hitting .400 - at least until late May and early June. By May 25th, he already had an 11-game hitting streak - one of his hits included a game-ending single against the Chicago White Sox.
He ended up with not quite 2000 at-bats in the majors, and an average of .261, not bad at all for a multi-position infielder who hadn't even been drafted out of college.
The most similar player, according to similarity scores, is Alex Arias, a contemporary of Grebeck who also had a lifetime average around .260 while playing the infield positions. He is also a very similar player to Craig Counsell, though Counsell has been a starting player more than Grebeck was.
His brother, Brian Grebeck, played several seasons in the minors.
"He's a good little player, whether you ask him to play daily at one position or to help out at a second position." - Carlton Fisk