Tigers promote top prospect Riley Greenaccording to various journalists (including Detroit News’ Chris McCosky). outfielder Austin Meadows goes on the COVID-19 injured list in a corresponding move.
Had it not been for a broken right foot suffered in the final days of spring training, Greene was on course to make his Major League debut on opening day. Instead, the 21-year-old must undergo rehab and then 17 minor league games (15 at Triple-A, two at A-ball in rehab) before he is officially considered ready for his first taste. a spectacle.
Detroit selected Greene with the fifth overall pick in the 2019 draft, and he has since made it into the top prospect rankings, including a consensus top-six ranking ahead of the 2022 campaign. Athletic’s Keith Law considered Greene as baseball’s third-best prospect, with Baseball America (4th), MLB Pipeline (5th), and Baseball Prospectus (6th) not far behind.
Greene only had a good start to his professional career in 2019 at age 18, then understandably didn’t play at all in 2020 due to the cancellation of the minor league season. Returning to the field last year, Greene hit .301/.387/.534 with 24 homers and 16 interceptions in 558 plate appearances at the Double-A (373 AP) and Triple-A (185) levels.
There’s plenty of five-tool potential for Greene, who was already considered to have “elite batting speed” (according to Baseball America’s scouting report) even before he started displaying more power in the game. home plate in 2021. According to BA, Greene’s “physical gifts and advanced feel at home plate make him a potential plus-plus hitter who is fighting for batting titles and he has a chance to become 20-plus homers. Greene Adds to that offensive potential by being a stolen base threat thanks to his plus speed, and that same speed has also helped him develop into a strong defensive center back He may ultimately be best suited to a corner outfield position , and Greene also has a powerful throwing arm that would help him in right field.
As if there wasn’t enough pressure on a 21-year-old making his MLB debut, Greene also finds himself seen as perhaps a turning point (or a savior) in what has been a disastrous season for the United States. Tigers. After years of rebuilding, the Tigers seemed to be rounding the corner with rising young talent, and they’ve augmented that core prospect with veteran additions like Javier Baez, Eduardo Rodriguezand Meadows in the offseason.
Instead, Detroit is just 24-39, as the club suffered hampered injuries to nearly every member of the rotation and a near total lack of hits. Tarik Skubal, Beautiful Brieskeand Alex Fedo helped keep the rotation afloat, but the Tigers beat a .220/.275/.315 collective. Harold CastroDetroit’s modest 114 wRC+ leads all batters who have enjoyed regular or semi-regular playing time.
In this context, it is probably already too late for Greene to trigger some sort of miracle turnaround. Instead, the outfielder will look to get going and put on a good showing in his rookie season, to give the Tigers something to look forward to as they revamp the game for 2023. Spencer Torkelson struggled in his first MLB campaign, the Tigers’ long-term plan is to have Greene and Torkelson as roster mainstays for years to come.
Meadows hit .250/.347/.328 on 147 AP this season, and is still looking for his first homer of 2022 after smashing 27 balls out of the park with the Rays last year. Meadows also spent nearly four weeks battling vertigo-related symptoms and was not taken off the regular injured list until June 7.
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