The Detroit Tigers surprised no one when they selected high school outfielder Riley Greene with the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s MLB draft. The Tigers had scouted Greene heavily throughout the draft cycle, and were long connected with the Hagerty High School product.
The surprise came two days later, when the Tigers announced that they had agreed to terms with Greene on his first contract before the dang draft was even over.
We likely won’t see Greene in game action for another couple of weeks or so. There are a number of logistical hurdles for both sides to clear before he lands with a team, and the Tigers’ three short-season affiliates — two in the Gulf Coast League, and one in Connecticut — still have yet to begin their 2019 seasons.
Today’s Question of the Day involves you putting your Al Avila hat on.
Where should Riley Greene start in the Tigers’ minor league system?
My answer: I’d like to see the Tigers challenge Greene with an assignment to short-season Connecticut. They start their season around the same time as the Gulf Coast League squads, but the level of competition is just a bit higher than what takes place down in Lakeland. Greene has drawn praise for his polished plate approach for a prep player, and would likely have little trouble facing all of the wild arms that populate the GCL.
This approach would be a little more aggressive than what the Tigers have done with similar picks in recent years. Both Derek Hill and Parker Meadows, the Tigers’ last two prep picks from the top few rounds of the draft, spent a fair amount of time in the GCL before moving up a level. Even Nicholas Castellanos started in the Gulf Coast League, though he only played for about a week after signing in 2010 before the end of the season.
Based on scouting reports, Greene is a more advanced hitter than both Hill and Meadows were coming out of high school, and could potentially handle the better competition right out of the gate.