Greathouse is giving up his bat
Left-hander Cameron Greathouse came to Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Fla., as a left-handed hitting outfielder. He left as a pitcher drafted in the eighth round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs this week. Greathouse was 10-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 games for the Commodores this past season. He struck out 131 batters in 88.1 innings and hit .399 with 11 home runs in 52 games.
Q: What were your thoughts when you heard your name called by the Cubs?
A: I had stopped (following) after the seventh round because I thought this year wasn’t going to be the year. But my roommate from school is from Chicago and he called and told me I’d been drafted. I was in a state of shock for about 15 minutes. I had scouts tell me fourth through sixth round, and my adviser said if I wasn’t taken by then, they probably had taken me off the board thinking that I’m unsignable.
Q: Are you unsignable?
A: No, I’m signable. I want to go out and play and I told all of them that. I’m glad they took a chance on me.
Q: You pitched and swung the bat in college. Did you enjoy doing both?
A: I’ve always loved hitting and I didn’t think there would really come a day when I had to give it up, but it has already came so I guess it’s going to be a bittersweet ending. They said if pitching doesn’t work out, they still have me as an outfielder.
Q: Was there ever any doubt that you’d be drafted as a pitcher instead of an outfielder?
A: No, because they told me in the fall that if I was going to play at the next level and make it to the show, I was going to be pitching. I understood that and knew the whole process.
Q: The scouts have been following you for a pretty good while then?
A: Yeah, since August or September. My freshman year at Gulf Coast, I wasn’t pitching at all. Then we had a couple of pitchers get hurt and a couple of other pitchers weren’t getting the job done. We were kind of already out of the running and our coach asked if anybody wanted to try out for pitching. I told him I had pitched in high school, so he threw me out there and I ended up throwing 66 innings for the rest of conference (play) and flashing some good numbers. The scouts came back and watched me and I kept putting up good numbers and went from there.
Q: What’s your repertoire?
A: I’m going to throw an average fastball, 88 to 92 mph. But my pitch that (impressed) all of the scouts is my curveball. I throw a hard curveball that’s 79 to 83. It’s got a pretty tight break on it and is 12-6. That’s what I got all of my strikeouts on.
Q: What other pitches do you throw?
A: I’ve been flirting with a changeup. It started off badly during the fall and I couldn’t throw it to save my life. But now that I’ve worked on it, in my last outing, I actually threw about 20 to 30 changeups and had probably 15 to 20 swings-and-misses, so it’s getting there.
Q: When did you start throwing the curveball?
A: When I was in high school, I didn’t pitch much; a little bit my freshman year and sophomore year. My senior year was the year I really started pitching. Edwin Jackson is from my high school (Shaw HS – Columbus, Ga.) and pitches with the Diamondbacks; he came to my home during the off-season and started showing me the curveball that he throws. Ever since then I’ve been throwing it.
Q: Have you spoken with the Cubs about contract yet?
A: We talked a little bit; not much. But the scout said he would give me a final offer (soon) and I’ll probably end signing and going ahead and getting my career started.
Q: What do you do away from the ballpark?
A: I love playing basketball. That was my first sport I ever started playing and I still shoot around a few times a week. I was a basketball player (in high school) and was also a quarterback in football. I was actually going to go to college and play quarterback and then my high school baseball coach convinced me I had a better shot at the major leagues than being the next Peyton Manning.