2009 Cardinals Prospect #17 – Tyler Greene

Can the 2005 first-rounder translate his addition to the 40-man roster into an MLB debut in 2009? Happy New Year! Today's article is FREE!

Scout.com Player Profile (including links to full 2008 and career stats)

2008 ranking: 17

Position: SS

DOB: 8/17/1983

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 180

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

School: Georgia Tech

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the first round (30th overall) of the June, 2005 First-Year Player Draft.

Selected 2008 stats

SPR 0.259 374 62 97 15 4 16 41 22 99 14 0.307 0.449 0.756
MEM 0.234 111 17 26 7 0 0 7 11 35 6 0.325 0.297 0.623
Tot 0.254 485 79 123 22 4 16 48 33 134 20 0.311 0.414 0.726
AFL 0.287 87 24 25 6 2 3 13 8 29 1 0.380 0.506 0.886

Staff comments (individual rankings in parens)

Dustin Mattison (13): Greene has always been something of an enigma in the Cardinals minor league system. Possessing some of the best overall tools in the organization, the 24-year-old has had trouble with seeing those tools translate into success on the field in his first three seasons. During the 2008 season, the Georgia Tech product began to show why the Cardinals made him a 2005 first round draft pick.

Greene possesses tremendous power for a middle infield prospect. His 16 home runs is best among middle infielders in all of Double-A, not just the Texas League. Greene struggles to make consistent contact and has difficulty with off-speed pitches. At times, Greene makes himself an easy out when he becomes way too pull-conscious.

I have to admit that I have mixed feelings concerning Greene. His tools are fantastic; it is that his inconsistencies have filled me with reservations. I would like to see him make a more conscious effort to keep his hands back and drive the ball more to the opposite field. Yes, he would most likely lose some of his home run total but should more than make up for it in the batting average department. With his bat and foot speed, Greene could become a doubles machine. After a solid outing in the Arizona Fall League, he has put himself in position to compete for a big league bench job in spring training.

Ray Mileur (21): Greene is my sleeper pick to make the Cardinals 25-man roster out of spring training. Greene split playing time last season between Springfield and Memphis, before playing at second, short and third in the Arizona Fall League, apparently auditioning to replace Aaron Miles as the Cardinals utility infielder. Greene was added to the Cardinals 40-man roster in November to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. A first round pick in 2005, Greene clearly has the tools to be a professional ball player, but I think his days as the Cardinals shortstop of the future is well behind him.

Message board community (23): Greene's potential and flashes of brilliance continue to garner him high rankings even if his statistics don't always support it. Greene's started 2008 at AA Springfield where he put up stats almost identical to his injury shortened 2007 season. He later moved to AAA Memphis where he struggled significantly.

Greene salvaged his 2008 season by having an outstanding 2008 Arizona Fall League season. He put together a .886 OPS and improved his walk rate tremendously. Improving his walk rate is important to make up for the nearly 30% K rate that Greene has.

Greene can probably be a major leaguer without much improvement due to his strong defense (+ range and + arm strength) and the fact that middle infielders with his combination of speed and power are rare. However, to be a starter Greene is going to have to learn how to make more contact.

Barring injuries or an unconscious Spring performance by Greene I would expect him to return to Memphis to start the season and his arrival in STL to depend on his performance there. - CariocaCardinal

Brian Walton (16): As the scores here confirm, I like Greene better than most. Though he was added to the 40-man roster this winter, I realize he has little chance of claiming a spot on the Cardinals 25-man roster coming out of spring training. He makes too little contact, strikes out too much, walks too rarely and has too many others still ahead of him.

At face value, Greene improved his on-base and slugging percentages in the hitting-heavy Arizona Fall League, though he fanned in an alarming 33% of his at-bats. To keep things in perspective, his .287 batting average was only 12th best, his .380 OBP was 13th and .506 SLG was 11th – not in the league, but just on his own team. More importantly, Greene played all over the diamond defensively, his best hope to reach the majors.

Cardinals farm director Jeff Luhnow: "Tyler did make some real good improvements this year. I noticed that when he got to Memphis, one of the things he started to do, which I was excited about, was to take some walks. It has never been part of his repertoire necessarily, but he needs it to be because he could be a top of the lineup kind of guy. He's definitely got enough speed to steal bases… The more he gets on base, the more he is going to be able to make things happen.

"He is always going to battle the strikeouts but certain players, that's just what they do. They hit home runs and they strike out. As long as the balance is right and you've got the ratios right, you can still be a very productive player in the big leagues.

"I see him at Triple-A next year and hopefully he'll be able to make the next step at some point," concluded Luhnow.

To see our entire list of 40 prospects, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

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