Riley Greene Proves To Be A Quick Study
When Riley Greene stepped to the plate at Comerica Park to take batting practice, he didn't know who was watching.
It wasn’t until he watched a video that he realized the yelling behind him was coming from Miguel Cabrera that Greene’s new job finally began to crystallize.
"When I was hitting, I didn't really hear him,” Greene said. "After I watched a video, I could hear him screaming in the background. I got to meet him after and that was even cooler. On TV he doesn't look that big and then you get up right next to him and he's like three times your size.”
Three affiliates later, Greene, whom the Tigers drafted out of Hagerty HS in Oviedo, Fla. with the fifth overall pick in the most recent draft, has completed his first season.
"Going into my senior year, I was facing the best of the best,” Greene said, "so I was used to the speed of the game. It was just a new setting for me. I wasn't used to playing against kids two, three, four years older than me. I had to get used to that.”
Greene debuted in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, and went 4-for-5 with a pair of home runs and five RBIs in his first game. After hitting .351/.442/.595 in the GCL, Greene continued to work to make sure his success carried over to his next two stops—short-season Connecticut and low Class A West Michigan.
"The big thing with me is my timing,” Greene said. "If I wasn't on time, I wasn't going to hit the ball. That's the one thing I pay attention to, getting my foot down on time. I know when I get my foot down, I have a chance every time.”
In West Michigan, Greene connected with Parker Meadows, the Tigers' second-round selection from 2018. Greene and Meadows share similar skill sets and were able to lean on one another in the Midwest League.
"I feel like me and (Parker) being out there, it's just a feeling that I can't even describe,” Greene said. "I knew that we were going to have a good outfield when he was next to me.”
For now, Greene plans to enjoy some home cooking before returning to the grind of training for next year.
"I just want to get stronger and try to get as fast as I can," he said, "because I want to stick in center field.”
— Tigers No. 4 prospect Isaac Paredes is the lone member of the team's top five prospects to not be included in instructional league in Lakeland, Fla., but there’s a good reason. The Tigers sent Paredes, 20 to the Arizona Fall League, where he’s once again playing under his regular season Double-A manager Mike Rabelo.
— After putting their speed on display with Double-A Erie during the regular season, Derek Hill and Jose Azocar have both carried that over to the start of their Arizona Fall League campaign. Viewed as two of the breakout prospects on the Tigers' farm this season, Hill and Azocar were in a three-way tie for most stolen bases for Mesa, along with Angels prospect Brandon Marsh.