No. 2 prospect Greene falls 1B shy of cycle

Detroit Tigers

One night after a three-hit game, Greene nearly became the first Erie SeaWolves player in nine years to hit for the cycle, falling a single shy in a 3-for-3 performance.

Greene, MLB Pipeline’s No. 15 overall prospect, nearly pulled off the feat without pulling the ball as all three hits went to center or left. He just missed a home run to left-center his first time up, crushing Altoona starter Osvaldo Bido’s first pitch off the fence before speeding around second base for a leadoff triple. Spencer Torkelson drove him in two batters later with a sacrifice fly.

Greene stepped back into the box an inning later and took care of the home run, going opposite field off the wall of neighboring Erie Insurance Arena for a three-run homer, his second homer in three nights.

Greene went back to that same area in the fourth, crushing a fastball foul before hitting an offspeed pitch low off the wall in left-center for a double.

That left Greene one hit shy of the cycle with two at-bats to go. In the sixth, he fell into an 0-2 hole following a called strike and a foul ball in a lefty-lefty matchup with Altoona’s Cam Vieaux, but declined to chase any of the pitches that followed out of the zone, working a two-out walk. Greene walked again in the ninth facing righty Hunter Stratton.

The last SeaWolves player to hit for the cycle was Tony Plagman on May 22, 2012. He hit .229 with 28 doubles, 13 home runs and a .705 OPS that year, his last in organized baseball.

The 20-year-old Greene, one of the youngest players in the Double-A Northeast League, hopefully has a long career ahead of him. His second consecutive three-hit performance came with general manager Al Avila and vice president of player development Dave Littlefield among the Tigers officials in attendance, watching a formidable Erie lineup that includes the organization’s top three hitting prospects.

Greene has reached base safely eight times in nine plate appearances over his last two games. He hasn’t swung and missed at a pitch since his second at-bat on Friday night. In the process, he has raised his batting average from .257 to .286.

He is not doing it with the same bat that he took to bed earlier in the season.

“I think it broke,” Greene said. “But I’m feeling better. It was 100 percent mental.”

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