Two of the Tigers’ top farm-team talents, not surprisingly, were officially feted Friday when the Tigers made Riley Greene and Beau Brieske their choices as the Tigers’ minor league player and pitcher of the year, respectively, for 2021.
Riley Greene, the gifted center fielder who flailed pitchers at both Double A and Triple A, won the position prize after batting a combined .301/.387/.534/.921, with 24 home runs, eight triples and 25 doubles.
Greene, who last week turned 21, will be heading to the Arizona Fall League this month and is expected to have a heavy-percentage chance at becoming the Tigers’ choice as Opening Day center fielder in 2022.
Greene was the fifth-overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft.
Brieske, 23, is a right-handed starter who was dazzling at both Single-A West Michigan and later at Double-=A Erie.
He started 21 games, overall, and had a 3.12 ERA and 1.01 WHIP, complemented by a .218 opposing batting average. He struck out 116 batters in 106.2 innings and walked 23.
Brieske, who is 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, qualifies as one of the bigger surprises from the 2019 MLB Draft, when the Tigers took him in the 27th-round after he pitched at Colorado State-Pueblo.
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Lynn Henning is a freelance writer and former Detroit News sports reporter.