MLB's No. 2 Prospect Riley Greene to Be Called Up by Tigers; Will Be Full-Time CF

Adam WellsJune 17, 2022

TOLEDO, OH - AUGUST 17:  Toledo Mud Hens right fielder Riley Greene (12) gets a lead off of second base during a regular season Triple A Minor League Baseball game between the Indianapolis Indians and the Toledo Mud Hens on August 17, 2021 at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio.  (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Amid their struggles this season, the Detroit Tigers are hoping to get a spark from top prospect Riley Greene.

Per ESPN's Jeff Passan, Greene will be called up prior to Saturday's game against the Texas Rangers and be the team's full-time center fielder.

There was hope that Greene would make the Tigers' Opening Day roster, but he fractured his foot late in spring training after fouling a pitch against the New York Yankees.

Greene made his season debut on May 27 with the Tigers' Single-A affiliate in Lakeland, Florida. He was called up to Triple-A after two games. The 21-year-old is hitting .279/.347/.382 with one homer and four stolen bases in 17 minor league contests.

The Tigers selected Greene with the No. 5 pick in the 2019 draft. He received a $6.2 million signing bonus two days later.

In 198 career minor league games, Greene has a .291/.372/.483 slash line with 30 homers, 120 RBI and 25 stolen bases.

Greene is the No. 2 prospect in Major League Baseball, per MLB.com. He's ranked behind Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman, who was called up to the big leagues last month.

"The weight of the world is not on his shoulders," Tigers manager A.J. Hinch told reporters about calling up Greene. "We have a lot of guys that need to pick up the slack...If we expect him to be the sole reason for an offensive turnaround, that’s completely unfair to him."

According to MLB.com's scouting report, Greene has "a potent combination of hit and power tools from the left side" with "power that has gone from raw strength to in-game prowess with some added muscle."

The addition of Greene comes at a time when the Tigers are trying to find an identity amid their ongoing rebuild. The front office did spend money during the offseason to sign Javier Baez and Eduardo Rodriguez.

Things haven't gone as planned in Detroit. Rodriguez hasn't pitched since May 18 because of a rib injury and subsequent personal matter. Baez has a .524 OPS in 51 games. Spencer Torkelson, who was the team's No. 2 prospect coming into 2022, per The Athletic's Keith Law, has been a disappointment with a .569 OPS in 57 games.

The Tigers' 24-39 record is the third-worst mark in the American League entering Friday. Greene alone won't change their fortunes, but he has the potential to provide a much-needed spark to a team that has failed to live up to even slightly elevated expectations.