The word that creeps into the mind of scouts and media about Amir Garrett is potential.
The 6-foot-5 lanky lefthander is a professional baseball player and a Division I basketball player. He’s a standout at two sports, but it’s on the mound where Garrett’s raw talent sends observers in a tizzy and it’s why the Cincinnati Reds gave him a $1 million signing bonus in 2011.
He gave them plenty to watch Friday, leading the Dayton Dragons to an 8-3 win over Great Lakes. Garrett got his first win as a Dragon, pitching 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs, five hits and one walk while dominating hitters with his fastball, which reached 97 mph.
“I needed that first win,” Garrett said. “After the last game, I sat down and wanted to make sure my mechanics were right. I wanted to keep my my fastball down and I did that. I was hitting my spots and they were able to get themselves out.”
Garrett has been on a limited pitch count and is regularly relieved by Jackson Stephens, who threw 3 1/3 innings after Garrett on Friday, allowing two hits, one run and two walks while striking out three.
“I’m really excited when he pitches behind me,” Garrett said. “He’s really good. I think us as a pair has been a great duo.”
Dayton scored two in the first, thanks to errors by Great Lakes defense, then scored three in the third and the sixth. Tanner Rahier was 2-for-3 with three RBIs while Daniel Pigott had two RBIs. Four Dragons had at least two hits in the game.
The game completed a sweep of Great Lakes, which had been in first place in the Midwest League Eastern Division until the Dragons knocked them out. Dayton is now a 1 1/2 games behind the Loons for a second half playoff spot.