Scout's View: Breaking Down 2022 MLB Draft Prospect OF Elijah Green
As we approach the 2022 draft, we’re enlisting the help of former player, coach and scout Tom Lipari to break down some of the top draft prospects in the class. Lipari played collegiate ball at New Orleans, then played nine years professionally, in the Padres and Astros organizations as well as in Indy ball. He was a nine-year college coach and then spent seven years scouting for the Cardinals and is the signing scout for Paul DeJong, Mateo Gil, Luken Baker, Steven Gingery, Levi Prater and others.
Elijah Green is one of the most exciting athletes that scouts have seen come out of high school in many years, and he currently ranks as the No. 5 prospect on our 2022 draft board and is a consensus top-of-the-first-round talent.
Green has a unique power/speed combination with present physicality that is rare for baseball players and more commonly seen on the football field. Green is committed to Miami but is expected to be one of the first prep players taken in the draft. We had our resident scouting expert, Tom Lipari, watch the videos below (though he wasn’t limited to just these videos) and break down Green.
The first video is from last summer, while the second video is from February:
Physicality: Superior athlete. Proportioned, strong, physical 6-foot-3, 225 pounds. More coming along the way. Moves extremely well. Boat load of God-given, physical ability.
Hit Tool: Plus bat speed, quickness, strength in hands will produce power numbers. Not a bat-to-ball type approach. Will make the pitcher pay for mistakes. Like any swing built for damage, strikeouts could be a concern but a chance to pay it back 10 fold in power production.
Offensive setup: Strong, wider base. Hands up, relaxed. Pre-pitch operation has its inconsistencies. Not always “on time.” Can get over anxious. Lower half timing varies: no stride, slight stride, toe tap. Doesn’t get off his backside at times. Little more consistent in hand load. Has enough bat speed to compensate for timing discrepancies right now, but as pitching advances a more consistent pre-pitch operation will be needed. However, when relaxed, on time and able to get hands through, sit back and enjoy the fireworks!
Swing Itself: Built for damage. Compact stroke with lift. Obliterates pitches he can handle out and over the plate. Does have a tendency to pull off the down-and-away breaker. Just like almost every amateur hitter, consistency in spin recognition and ability to stay on it will be a part of his education as he continues to grow and develop into a professional hitter. Plenty of tools there to expedite his growth as an offensive force as his journey proceeds.
Defense: Very good defender. Ability to stay in center field long term. Has a chance to outgrow it and move to a corner spot. Adequate, proper reads off barrel. Speed makes up for any late jump. Above-average arm, accurate.
Running: Elite 60-yard dash runner that translates well on base paths. Potential there to collect a high number of stolen bases if he chooses to do so.
Outlook: Elite talent that doesn’t come around often. Makeup and tools are there to contribute at the big league level, in a big way. Will take some time to come into his own offensively, but would be wise to bet on the athleticism, strength and overall package to assist in his development along the way.