Less than two years ago, the Cardinals’ Tyler Greene appeared to be just another wayward first-round pick who could never find the right offensive groove or even catch the necessary breaks.
Today, the Triple-A Memphis shortstop is getting his big league callup now that St. Louis is placing utility infielder Brendan Ryan on the disabled list, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Greene, selected two picks (30th) after Colby Rasmus in 2005 and signed for a $1.1 million bonus, was hitting .296/.412/.423 with two home runs, a double, triple and nine RBIs at Triple-A Memphis.
The promotion comes after a nearly two-year recovery since Greene underwent season-ending knee surgery in 2007 at Double-A Springfield. The injury occurred on his right knee (his plant leg) during a swing that July, just weeks after the knee buckled in a similar situation.
A former Georgia Tech standout, Greene has long been known as a defensive gem but also had a penchant for strikeouts, with 416 strikeouts in 1,420 at-bats (against 118 walks) prior to this season.
But he showed progress in a return last year at Double-A Springfield and then hit .234/.325/.297 in 111 Triple-A at-bats before heading to the Arizona Fall League, where he worked on playing second base.
Greene has some pop in his bat, with 20- and 16-home run seasons in Class A in 2006 and last year in Double-A, respectively.