DETROIT – Make no mistake about it: The Detroit Tigers drafted Riley Greene because of his skills at the plate.
Greene is the No. 31 overall prospect in baseball and the No. 9 outfielder on MLB Pipeline because of his bat. He has a 60-grade hit tool and a 55-grade power tool to go with 50-grade run and fielding tools and a 55-grade arm. (NOTE: MLB prospects are graded on a 20-80 scale.)
The Tigers drafted Greene No. 5 overall in 2019 because he projects to be an elite hitter, but during Monday’s intrasquad game, it was his glove that stole the show.
First baseman C.J. Cron golfed a low, inside pitch down left field line, about 20 feet inside the foul pole. Greene drifted back to his right, timed his jump perfectly and snatched the ball before it could land in the bullpen.
Here’s a look from the Tigers’ Twitter page:
Greene won’t make the roster this season because he’s only 19 years old and only has 221 professional at-bats to his name, all in the lower levels.
But he’s made multiple nice catches already during the spring training restart, robbing Jeimer Candelario of extra bases with a fine running catch Saturday in right-center field.
Greene put on a show with his bat in March, clubbing a pair of home runs and reaching base in 11 of 18 plate appearances -- six walks, two home runs and three singles. It looks like the Tigers have a future star waiting in the wing whenever Greene rises to the MLB level.