The Detroit Tigers selected outfielder Riley Greene with the fifth overall draft pick in the 2019 MLB First-Year Amateur draft. It was a shocking pick, one that not everyone was a fan of, including myself. (See post-draft reaction article here)
If you took a moment to venture off this piece and clicked the link above, you’d see that my judgment was harsh off of the get-go. Since then, I’ve walked back on those comments and enjoyed the opportunity to watch Greene progress through the Detroit Tigers organization as one of its top prospects.
He’s approaching a time where he’s fighting for his pro debut, and I think that Greene has a shot at beating Spencer Torkelson to the big leagues, even as a draftee out of high school. The tools that Greene has shown make it clear that he will be a steady piece of the Tigers lineup.
Greene and Torkelson are the two Tigers prospects with the most exciting futures to look forward to, but what will Greene’s future look like? Take a look below at a possible player comparison for what Greene could amount to be.
Here is Detroit Tigers prospect Riley Greene’s player comparison.
Looking at Green’s archetype, it seems like there’s a potential he anchors the lineup’s number two or three-hole for the future. The simplest summary that I think sums it up is that Greene will be the speedy outfielder who can make plays happen in the outfield.
Initially, it was noted that he would be a future corner outfielder for the Tigers, but I think his career begins in centerfield and may change as he gets stronger and develops physically. He’s still just 21 years old and will continue growing in his early professional years.
If I were to compare him to three different big leaguers from over the years, the players who come to mind are Alex Gordon, Carlos Gonzalez, and Grady Sizemore. Gordon, a long-time member of the Kansas City Royals, was an exceptional outfielder who had eight Gold Gloves.
He may not have had as much pop as the others, but he was no stranger to the occasional long ball. Gordon also used his speed on the basepaths and was a quality baserunner. On the other hand, Gonzalez spent ten of his 12 years in the Rockies organization playing his home games at Coors Field.
His power numbers show a little bit more and remind me of how Greene could perform if he can go deep more often. But in Comerica Park, I don’t see Greene going deep as much as he utilizes right-center to his advantage as a “triples alley.” Gonzalez stole some bases here and there, four seasons with 20 or more stolen bags.
Sizemore is kind of like the middle-ground. More speed than Gonzalez and Gordon and the middle-ground for power as well. These are just three players that Greene could profile out to be similar to in his career.
Granted, the lengths of their careers and Greene’s may not coincide; I was simply looking at the type of player that Greene could profile out to be. Soon enough, Greene will make his pro debut, and Tigers fans will get to see what he can bring to the table.