SEACAUCUS, N.J. (97.1 The Ticket) – The Tigers selected outfielder Riley Greene from Hagerty High School in Oviedo, Florida, with the fifth overall selection in the MLB draft.
Greene, the top-ranked player available to the Tigers with the fifth pick, is the first high school player Detroit has selected in the first round since he pulled Matt Manning out of Sheldon High School in Sacramento, California, in 2016. He is the first The player that the club has selected from Christin Stewart, also a gardener, in 2015.
The Tigers would have been on the Florida commission for a long time. Greene is an excellent left-handed batter with tools that should translate easily into the majors. The scouts say he's the best high school bat in the draft.
The 6-foot-2, 190 pounds. Left-handed hitter has been nicknamed "the best pure hitter" in the high school clbad of 2019.
– MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) June 3, 2019
He has a "smooth and easy swing with current bat speed, plus power potential and an already established ability to recognize pitches and boards," according to MLB Network.
Greene was recently named the Florida Baseball Gatorade Player of the Year, and was a finalist for the Gatorade National Player of the Year.
"We are very excited to select Riley with our first pick in this year's draft," Scott Scoutis Tigers Scout Director Scott Pleis said in a press release. "He's a dynamic gardener with a big frame and a loose swing from the left side, and he really knows how to find the sweet spot in a repeatable way, he has what we call the 'success gene' and he combines his performance in the batter box with "highlight-reel plays in the garden regularly. All of us in the Amateur Scouting Department of the Tigers are eager to see Riley reach his potential as he grows in our organization over the next few years. "
Prior to his senior season at Hagerty, Greene was named the first All-American preseason team by Rawlings-Perfect Game.
Tigres general manager Al Avila said the club's goal before each draft is to take the best player on the board with each selection.
"We are happy that there is a player with so much offensive potential available to us with the fifth team," Avila said in a press release. "We hope Riley will join our growing group of young position players who are moving quickly in our system during their development into the big leagues."
In 2018, Greene started all nine games for the USA Baseball 18U national team in the U-18 Pan American Championship, reducing .424 / .548 / .848. He led the team with three homers and 20 RBIs during the competition.