Charleston RiverDogs

Nick Green was so wanted the Yankees traded for him and his game is really only now beginning to blossom.

Right-hander Nick Green was so sought after by the Yankees that they didn't just draft him out of high school in 2013 but they made sure he was a priority get in the Carlos Beltran trade this summer with the Texas Rangers. He might not have been the headliner at the time of the trade but with a game that is just now beginning to blossom in nearly every way he just may end up being the main part of the deal down the road.

He was having a fine season in the Texas Rangers farm system this year, striking out 44 batters in 34.1 innings in the Northwest League, when he was traded along with Dillon Tate and Erik Swanson to the Yankees in the Carlos Beltran deal at the trade deadline.

"I was excited about the new experience, to meet to new people and move on the baseball world, which is always exciting," Green said.  "I was excited to start fresh, get a new set of eyes on me, and help me continue moving forward."

He was also doubly excited because it hit home with him how much the Yankees really wanted him.  A 35th round selection by the Yankees out of high school, getting dealt to the Yankees just a couple of years later proved what the organization really thought of him.

"It's obviously a great feeling to have a team want you like that. It's a business though, everyone knows that.  I'm excited they gave me a new opportunity with a great team."

It didn't take Green long to make a quick impression with his new organization either.  He posted a 1.69 ERA in two starts with short-season Staten Island and was even better with low-A Charleston, posting a 1.06 ERA in three starts with the RiverDogs.

"I think it went really well," he said of his time with the Yankees.  "The Yankees organization treated me so great coming in.  They took a lot of pressure off of me.  They helped me figure things out mentally and mechanically.  It was awesome.  [The biggest thing] was my confidence, keep doing what I've been doing [because] it's been working.

"I learned so much from both [clubs in 2016].  It was unbelievable.  This year just opened my eyes to how much I could learn and how much they could give me.  Both teams really, really helped me move forward as a pitcher and as a person."

He had the reputation of boasting a killer curveball even before the 2016 season began and it's a pitch that got even better as the year progressed.  But so did his two other pitches too.  His fastball began to sit 92-95 mph as the year went on and his once non-existent changeup began making dramatic improvements by the end of his first Instructional League camp with the Yankees.

"For me it went really well," he said of Instructs.  "That is where I made pretty much all of my progress [with my changeup].  I changed my grip, my throwing motion with that [pitch], etc.  My changeup improved a lot.  I've got a lot more depth to it, I've got more consistency with my command of it, and with the way it's breaking.  That pitch has developed a lot."

In fact, some inside the Yankees organization believe his changeup has the upside to one day be as devastating as his already plus curveball and Green himself sees that potential in it too.

"I'm hoping for that.  With the way it's coming along I'm excited to see where it takes me.  It's kind of hard to predict the future obviously but I'm really hoping it will keep coming along, to stay consistent with the same break, and I think it can be a great pitch for me."

With all three pitches getting noticeably better and his command ions better than it was in 2015 [he walked more than he struck out that year], Green believes his game is really just now beginning to blossom in every way.

"I do, I really do," he insisted.  "I think maturity level I'm getting up there and I'm competing every moment I'm out on the mound, I'm getting a lot stronger and it's showing in the velocity, and I'm learning new things which is always good."

Green is really only now beginning to realize his own immense potential and his confidence is soaring as a result.  He believes with another strong offseason this year that he can be the same pitcher in 2017 that he was in his brief time with the Yankees this year.

"I think the sky's the limit.  I'm excited to just keep working on things; more consistent mechanics, etc.  You can always be more consistent with everything and having the same mindset every game.  I just want to go out there, compete with my team, and help my team win the game."

He wasn't the headliner in the Carlos Beltran deal this summer; Dillon Tate was.  Extremely modest and centered though despite the sizeable ceiling and obvious potential, Green has the potential to one day develop into the main cog of the trade and it's really starting to show in nearly every way.

"If that's what happens I'm excited for that but I'm just excited to help every team I can be on.  I just can't wait to play ball [again] and keep playing.  I love it.

"I'll definitely be ready for next season.  I can't wait," he concluded. 

Pinstripes Plus Top Stories