Amir Garrett made his share of dominant starts for Class A Advanced Daytona during the regular season, but none were better than the career-best outing he turned in Tuesday against Clearwater in the opening round of the Florida State League playoffs.
The Reds' No. 3 prospect carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning and matched his career high with 12 strikeouts as Daytona won the first game, 3-0, in the best-of-three series.
The 23-year-old left-hander's quest for a no-no came to an end with two outs in the seventh inning, when Clearwater first baseman Rhys Hoskins lined a single to right field. Garrett bounced back to fan the final batter of the inning, marking his third 12-strikeout performance -- he also struck out 12 in seven innings against Clearwater on May 30 -- in four professional seasons.
Baseball's No. 75 overall prospect flashed big-time potential during his first three years in the Reds' system, but his decision to play both college basketball and professional baseball seemingly limited his development on the mound.
But that changed this season with Garrett's decision to focus on baseball full time.
The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder had a solid first half of the season, posting a 3.22 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 72/28 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 67 innings (14 starts) for the Tortugas.
But as it would turn out, the southpaw's performance was merely a warmup for his lights-out second half: In 12 starts after the All-Star break, Garrett went 7-2 with a 1.72 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 61/27 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 73 1/3 innings. He also induced more ground balls while holding opposing hitters to a paltry .212 batting average in that span.
Overall, Garrett finished the regular season with a 9-7 record, 2.44 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 133/55 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 140 1/3 innings covering 26 starts.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.