|Zach Green, image- Jay Floyd|
Upon signing his first pro contract, at 18 years old, he quickly showed his skills with the bat as he sported a .284 average with 13 doubles, a triple and three home runs for the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2012. Green had been committed to playing baseball at Oregon State prior to the MLB draft.
With a body type that is prototypical of a corner infielder at six-foot-three 210 pounds, coaches and scouts speak highly of Green's raw power. The California resident represented the Class A short-season Williamsport Crosscutters in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game in 2013, winning the league's annual home run derby. With the Cutters, Green batted .252 with 20 doubles (tied for league lead), a triple, 13 homers (league leader) and 41 RBI.
In 2014, Green missed roughly seven weeks for Class A Lakewood with a hip injury that limited his range for the entire season. When the ailment became too painful to play with in April, Green had produced a .219/.293/.260 slash line. He'd go on the disabled list to rest and heal. After he returned to action in June, Green tallied a .282/.322/.443 line, proving how productive he could be for the BlueClaws. While trying to recover, the youngster crossed the diamond to man first base in order to continue competing and remain on the field.
Overall with Lakewood, Green sported a .268/.316/.402 slash line in 84 games.
Having played shortstop at Jesuit High School (California), where he batted .403 in his varsity career, the athletic Green was moved to third base after turning pro and has been very capable at the position. The strong armed, accurate thrower has nice range and quick reflexes. It is possible that as Green ages and adds pounds that he could change positions, likely across the diamond to first base, where he got plenty of innings last season. Depth for the Phils at the hot corner could also be a factor in any positional change for the youngster.
Such a switch would be welcomed by Green if it helped him get to the big leagues. His passion for the game is clear as Green simply wishes to play and hit at progressing levels and isn't greatly concerned about his defensive assignment.
Speed isn't a big factor in Green's game, as he's attempted to steal only 25 times in his pro career, successfully converting 17 of those tries. Sporting a solid baseball IQ, Green, who worked at improving his agility this off-season, could be a contributor on the bases with an aggressive style that could help him go first-to-third and take advantage of other key situations.
With the bat, Green's strikeout rate (23.4% for his career) will need to improve if he is to reach the upper levels. With a frame that has big time power potential, Green could, one day, be an everyday regular in the big leagues.
Phillies brass and coaches think a lot of the talented righty hitter and 2015 could be his breakout year. Look for Green, who turns 21-years-old in March, to play with Class A Advanced Clearwater during the coming season.
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