MLB updated its prospect rankings and a familiar face is now at the top.
Former top prospect Adley Rutschman, the 2019 top pick, has graduated from the list since his call-up in May to the Baltimore Orioles. Jackson Jobe, the Tigers’ top 2021 pick, was ranked No. 26.
Since arriving in Detroit, Greene has done nothing but pour gasoline on a fire of sky-high expectations. The 21-year-old is hitting .274 with a .384 OBP and .787 OPS in a little more than two weeks of service time.
THREE IN A ROW: Greene, Victor Reyes each drive in 3 in 11-4 win over Guardians
He has reached base safely in 15 of his 16 games, including nine straight entering Wednesday. The only other Tiger to do that in the past decade is Quintin Berry in 2012, according to Elias Sports.
During his first 16 games, Greene has recorded a hit in 12 of them and has either scored or driven in at least one run in 11 of the games.
Greene, after recording just one extra-base hit his first 10 games, has two doubles, a triple and a home run the past week, generating an .852 OPS in July.
The home run? A walk-off, when he went back-to-back with Victor Reyes in a comeback 4-3 victory over the Royals, becoming the first Tiger in 44 years to hit a walk-off as his first home run in the big leagues (Lou Whitaker, 1978).
Whether it was becoming the first Tigers player since 1991 to reach base four times in his MLB debut, his game-winning long ball, or his Superman catch in centerfield, Greene has jump-started the team.
“I’m not the fastest guy out there,” Greene said last week of his ability to make plays in the outfield. “I’m quick, but I’m not fast, fast. I feel like getting the best jump I can get and getting the best route to the ball I can get is big for me, because I’m not going to kill them with speed out there.”
Detroit is 9-7 in his 16 games, scoring 81 runs (5.1 per game). Prior to that, the team was 24-40 and had scored just 170 runs in 64 games (2.7 runs per game).
Perhaps most importantly, Greene has shown he already has above-average eye and discipline — he has 11 walks and 11 strikeouts.
Javier Baez called him “a machine” the way he gets on base.
“We’re swinging the bats really well,” Greene told reporters Wednesday. “It’s just momentum. You know, one person gets a hit, pass it on the next person. We’re all having a lot of fun here.”
Greene batted .291 with a .372 OBP in parts of three minor league seasons, with 30 home runs, 37 doubles, 11 triples and an .855 OPS.
He was always a highly regarded prospect. Now, he’s on top — of the Tigers lineup card, and the rankings.
“I hope he hits in the leadoff spot for the next six-plus years, or however long he’s going to be here,” manager A.J. Hinch said earlier this week. “It’s important that the best hitters get the most at-bats.
“I also think it’s important for the long term to build a lineup where that’s not a question.”
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