Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Kentucky's Scott Green was drafted for the second year in a row, this time by the Tigers in the third round of the draft. In 2007, the Red Sox made Green a 15th round choice and offered him $800,000 to sign, but he opted to head back to the Wildcats and try to improve his stock to first round status. Prior to being selected by the Sox, Green appeared in only nine games for Kentuck, as he dealt with several minor injuries, and totaled just 17 2/3 innings with 20 strikeouts. Green's performance on the Cape earned him his high bonus offer from the Sox, as he was 3-1 with a 1.56 ERA in 40 1/3 innings of work.
In 2008, people were expecting big things from Green, as he was named to the Preseason All-SEC 1st Team, Wallace Award watch list, and Golden Spikes Playerr of the Year watch list. Green struggled as a starter this year, being relegated to the bullpen and finishing the season with a 4.76 ERA in 55 2/3 innings. He struck out 64 against just 16 walks, and yielded only four home runs. Scott's six wins tied him for second on the team.
Green was forced to redshirt during the 2006 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery to repair a torn elbow ligament. As a freshman in 2005, he worked mostly as a reliever, picking up three saves and a 2-4 record in 42 2/3 innings. Prior to Kentucky, Scott was a Louisville Slugger 1st Team All-American at Louisville Male High School, and was runner up for Kentucky's Mr. Baseball award. During both his junior and senior high school campaigns, he earned All-State, All-Region, and All-District honors. Green could have gone as high as the fifth round in 2004 had he not been strongly committed to Kentucky.
Green is a good athlete, having played basketball in his school, and he has been able to repeat his mechanics fairly well in the past. Since injuries have struck, he's had a harder time repeating his ¾ arm slot. His delivery creates some deception and lends to good boring action in on right-handers. As he's gotten further away from surgery, his fastball has come back to its previous 90-93 and touching 95 mph on occasion.
Scott has a plus slider that he throws at 79-83 mph, with good spin and resulting depth. When he doesn't keep his arm angle up, the slider can flatten out and become very hittable. He has also shown the makings of an interesting change-up, but has yet to gain consistency with it. Green has outstanding makeup and poise on the mound that will allow him to succeed in any pitching role. His biggest obstacle will be his ability to throw quality strikes. He has a propensity throw too many balls in the middle of the zone, rather than moving the ball around and placing it with more precision.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP AVG CLG
Green has battled injuries quite a bit the last three years. His prior Tommy John surgery appears to be behind him, as his velocity and slider have both come back. The more minor injuries that plagued him in 2007 didn't resurface this year, so there is hope that the injury bug has passed him by. Having only worked limited innings the last few years, his workload will have to be watched carefully.
Green may be a bit of a tough sign again this year, if he believes he can get things back on track and improve his stock as a fifth-year senior next year, though he would risk losing all leverage in that scenario. I think the Tigers will be able to get him under contract and they will try to improve his command enough to keep him in the rotation. In the past, he has been effectively wild and his lanky frame has allowed him to be very deceptive multiple times through the order.
Green is a bit older than most draft picks the Tigers are going to collect this year, and with his excellent makeup, he may be pushed more quickly than many of his fellow draftees. Green is likely to start in Oneonta and could easily get to Lakeland by the end of 2009 with success and an aggressive approach from the organization.
Mark Anderson is TigsTown's Managing Editor and feature Minor League writer. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.