Amir Garrett made his major league debut on Friday night and made sure it was a doozy for all the fans in attendance. His road to a Cincinnati Reds uniform was unique, but fans probably aren't complaining after he lit up the scoreboard, shutting down the potent St. Louis Cardinals in the process. If the rebuilding team has any luck on their side, this young starter will be a pivotal part of their MLB rotation going forward.

Excellent debut

The first pitch of Amir Garrett's career was straight down the middle...and low, for a ball. He kept the 91 MPH pitch anyway, as a souvenir. Then, he started dealing.

The No. 2 prospect for the Cincinnati Reds looked nearly unhittable. None of his stuff was particularly flashy, but he remained consistent in his approach throughout his MLB debut. His final line read like that of a seasoned veteran: six innings pitched, four strikeouts, two walks and two hits surrendered, but not a single run stretching across the plate.

Garrett became just the third pitcher in team history to throw at least six scoreless innings during their MLB debut. The last Cincinnati player to do that was Wayne Simpson, back on April 9, 1970. He couldn't get it done at the plate, striking out during both of his at-bats before being removed for Michael Lorenzen. There was no need to do damage at the plate when he was as effective as he was on the mound, though, leading his team to a 2-0 victory and a 3-1 record to start the year.

Wave of the future

Garrett had one of the more nontraditional routes to the MLB in recent memory. He was drafted by the Reds in the 22nd round of the MLB Draft in 2011 and signed a deal with them, but received permission to attend college as well. He went to St. John's University, but not as a baseball star - he went as a basketball star, one of the top recruits in the country.

He eventually transferred to California State University, Northridge, before dropping the whole basketball thing to focus on baseball.

Prior to this season, he was considered one of the 75 best prospects in baseball, and one of the best in the Reds organization. Perhaps Wayne Simpson would've been considered the same back in the day.

He ended up going to the All-Star Game during his rookie campaign, but flamed out shortly afterwards. The future success of the MLB franchise in Cincinnati is depending on Garrett to not do that, and instead become their next Bronson Arroyo or Johnny Cueto, if they're lucky.

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