Outfielder Riley Greene and right-hander Beau Brieske have been selected as the Detroit Tigers‘ minor league player and pitcher of the year, respectively, for their developments and performances in the 2021 season.
Greene, 21, reached Triple-A Toledo and is on the cusp of making his MLB debut, which could happen as soon as Opening Day in 2022. Brieske, 23, had a breakout season for High-A West Michigan and Double-A Erie.
Greene is the Tigers’ No. 2 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, and Brieske is ranked No. 27. The organization drafted Greene — also the No. 7 prospect in all of baseball — with the No. 5 overall pick in 2019.
After 797 more picks, the Tigers added Brieske in the 27th round from Colorado State-Pueblo.
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Greene hit .301 with 25 doubles, eight triples, 24 home runs, 84 RBIs, 63 walks and 153 strikeouts, along with 16 stolen bases, in 124 games for Double-A Erie (84 games) and Triple-A Toledo (40 games). Following his Aug. 16 promotion to the Mud Hens, the left-handed hitter posted a .308 batting average, eight home runs, 30 RBIs, 22 walks and 51 strikeouts.
He was named to the Double-A Northeast All-Star Team, an end-of-season award, and participated in the 2021 All-Star Futures Game in July at Coors Field. He will compete in the upcoming Arizona Fall League.
Greene finished his season with a .387 on-base percentage.
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Brieske started 21 games for High-A West Michigan (13 games) and Double-A Erie (8 games), registering a 3.12 ERA, 23 walks and 116 strikeouts in 106⅔ innings. He finished with a 1.013 WHIP and limited opponents to a .218 batting average.
Upon his July 27 promotion to the SeaWolves, he commanded a 2.66 ERA, eight walks and 40 strikeouts in 44 innings. Considering Brieske soared past the Double-A level, don’t be surprised if he spends most of 2022 in Triple-A Toledo — at least until his MLB debut.
Brieske was the only pitcher in the Tigers’ farm system to throw a shutout and one of three to record a complete game.