Top 30 Reds Prospects: No 27

Over the past year the Reds top three shortstop prospects have been promoted, traded, and moved to the outfield. Unfortunately Brodie Greene's performance last season did not prevent Cincinnati from going outside the organization to fill that void. The 25 year-old should be primed to make a case for a promotion to AAA during 2013.

Brodie Greene is a prospect moving down the list in the Reds organization. It wasn't long ago that the Cincinnati pipeline was flush with shortstop prospects. After the promotion of Zach Cozart, trade of Didi Gregorius, and move of Billy Hamilton to the outfield there was a vacuum providing opportunity for others to move up the pipeline. Unfortunately it does not appear that Greene will be taking advantage of that come opening day. During the offseason the Reds traded for Jason Donald, signed MLB veterans Emmanuel Burris and Cesar Izturis to minor league deals, and re-signed Kristopher Negron to provide depth in the middle infield. Also in the mix is Henry Rodriguez who spent most of his time at second base before moving to third last year.

Nearly all of Greene's professional action has come in the middle infield. Reducing his prospect value has been questionable arm strength and competition from others limiting most of that experience to second base and he's seen only four games at short since making 16 errors in 49 games at the position for Bakersfield in 2011. His offensive skills still made him high visibility coming into last season, but after a promotion to AA his average/slugging dropped .043/.103' compared to the previous year and his home run total fell from fourteen to three. He still finished at .244 for Pensacola which isn't horrible, but that wasn't good enough to prevent the Reds from bringing in personnel from outside the organization for their AAA roster.

What that means is a likely repeat at AA to start 2013 for the 25 year-old Greene. Perhaps they'll give him another shot at short where it would appear that he will be competing against Devin Lohman. Those two will likely provide the DP combination for the Blue Wahoos over the first portion of the season with second baseman Ryan Wright expected to arrive in the near future. None of the current Reds infielders are eligible for free agency before 2018 so there's no reason to fast-track anyone unless they're desperate for help off the bench.

Greene starred at Texas A&M before Cincinnati selected him in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. He was one of the older picks after playing a senior season with the Aggies and the Reds started him out at high-A later that year. He was up to the task and hit .287 with fourteen homers and 36 stolen bases at Bakersfield in 2011 which earned him a cup of coffee at Carolina and a lofty ranking among Reds prospects. At second base he's been making roughly one error per every ten games on average.

Of course the surest way for advancement is with the bat and glove and if Greene returns to Pensacola to start the season he would have ample opportunity to do that. He has the reputation of a hard-nosed player willing to do what it takes to help his team win. One of the older infielders listed above will be needed on the Reds bench and if Greene's play forces the issue they'd likely make room for him in Louisville at the expense of another. Proving versatility defensively and returning offensive production to single A levels will get him back on track for advancement that could end up on a major league team's bench. 2013 will be an important year for Brodie Greene because if he's not able to take the next step the market gets very thin for light-hitting 26 year-old players in AA.

Cincy Hardball Top Stories