2010 Cardinals Prospect #15 – Tyler Greene

The shortstop's very strong Memphis campaign was interrupted by a quiet MLB debut in 2009.

Scout.com Player Profile (including links to full 2009 and career stats)

2009 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Throw Signed Round
17 SS 8/17/1983 6-2 180 R R 2005 1st

School: Georgia Tech University

Selected 2009 stats

MEM 0.291 340 70 99 10 5 15 42 38 86 31 0.369 0.482 0.851
STL 0.222 108 9 24 5 0 2 7 4 32 3 0.270 0.324 0.594

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Dustin Mattison (18): Picked two spots after Colby Rasmus during the 2005 MLB First Year Player Draft, Greene actually received a larger signing bonus than the Cardinals centerfielder. The shortstop's tools have never been in doubt; just his ability to put his talents into performance has been the unknown. In 2009, he showed flashes of what his future might indicate.

An athletic middle infielder with pop is hard to find but Greene fits that description. Unfortunately, I am just not sure he will make enough contact to be an everyday player. But with above average speed, arm strength, and defensive ability, he gives the Cardinals an interesting and versatile weapon off the bench.

In his big league debut, the Georgia Tech product performed admirably before big league pitchers exploited his overzealous swing. I have always felt that if he shortened his stroke and tried to hit the ball in the gaps instead of over the fence, he would having the making of a solid big league regular. But a strikeout rate of close to 30% in his minor league career has sabotaged that potential.

Message board community (13): Tyler Greene had one of the bigger improvements in the community rankings, from 24th last year to 13th this year. That coincides with improvement in Triple-A, where he went from an OPS of .622 in 2008 to .851 in 2009. His OPS was better after the All-Star break (.899) than before (.786). Greene hit a bit better against righties (.870 OPS) than lefties (.800) this year in Triple-A. He has solid power (a .482 SLG in Triple-A), terrific speed (31 steals in 34 attempts), and the tools to be a plus defensive shortstop. If he puts it all together, he could be a terrific MLB shortstop for a good while. Greene has struggled with injuries in the past, and that might have limited his desirability to the community a bit.

With all that going for him, why is he this far down the list? In part, it's likely due to age. He turned 26 in August, and it's starting to get late to expect a lot of improvement. In part, it was because he looked overmatched at the plate in MLB this year, where he posted .270 OBP, .324 SLG in 108 AB's. He managed only four MLB walks to 32 strikeouts, which is not a sterling ratio. And he's fanned 121 times in 445 AB's in his two partial Triple-A seasons, combined. One opinion in the community was that he needs to work on pitch recognition. Perhaps that's it. Regardless, he needs to show that he can handle MLB pitching to be a starter. If he can, the grass on the other side will be much Greener. - Gagliano

Brian Walton (14): One year ago, then-27-year-old Brendan Ryan was characterized in the first line of his section of the Cardinals media guide as a "utility infielder". Everyone knows how that label changed dramatically after a few breaks.

While Ryan will come into 2010 camp as the starter, it will be his first season with the full weight of expectations upon him. He has also been sidelined by injuries in the past. It isn't far-fetched to see Greene getting his big chance sometime during 2010 and his skills are such that he could make it a real battle with Ryan if given the opportunity.

Our 2010 top 40 countdown continues: To see our entire list of 40 Cardinals prospects, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

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