|Zach Green, image- Jay Floyd|
He did lace 10 doubles and a triple while slamming nine homers and driving in 26 runs over his 57-game season, which isn't too shabby.
Green, who was the Phillies' 3rd round draft choice in 2013, has long been viewed as a prospect that possesses plenty of power potential. He has missed part of each of the past two seasons with injuries and simply may need luck on the health front in order to put together a bust-out season. He is expected to play this autumn in the prominent Arizona Fall League.
I spoke with the talented righty batter prior to the end of the minor league regular season about reaching the Double-A Eastern League, rivalries with other clubs and plenty more. Read ahead for those exclusive comments from Zach.
-Thoughts on your 2017?
It's nice to be up here with all the guys I was with last year to end the year. So, weird year, but I'm definitely look forward to next year.
-Is it a relief, after dealing with injuries and somewhat of a lengthy tenure in Clearwater, to make it up to Reading?
The injuries, there's nothing you can do about them. There's nothing to do with preparation or anything. It's just bad luck. Yeah, to finally be here and to know that I'm one step closer to the goal, it's great.
-Does it make the season a success even though the stats and the game played aren't necessarily where you would want them to be?
I'm definitely glad that I got to get a feel for how things are for next year. It was nice to be up here. It was definitely different. I've been playing in Florida for the last few years. New feel, entirely different feel, so it's good to get that experience going into next year.
-When facing a lot of the same opposition in these leagues as you move up from the lower levels, is there a bigger advantage for the hitters or the pitchers?
I would say, from a hitter's perspective, there are more advantages, just because everybody's ball comes off more. Every pitcher's unique in their own way, so anytime you can get more AB's against a pitcher that you're familiar with, it's going to definitely help your timing a lot.
-Have you enjoyed the time playing in front of the Reading crowd, as they're fans that have grown up in the region and always been Phillies fans?
Yeah, 100-percent. I think the Phillies have a big fan base on the east coast anyway, which is really cool to be playing out here with that. And then, I mean with Lakewood, Reading and Lehigh Valley all within the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area, you know, that fans are awesome. The fans are true fans, I like to call them. They understand the game, so it's really cool.
-Do you keep any souvenirs from your playing career as you've moved up the ranks?
Off the top of my head, last year I won a hitter of the month award for the (Florida) State League, so that's at home. I think Louisville actually sent me an All-Star Game bat, last year which was cool. Anytime I get something I try to hold onto it. I think my parents definitely enjoy it more than I do. But I try to hold onto stuff for sure.
-Do you notice any rivalries with other organizations throughout your time in the minors?
In Florida in spring training and instructs, you only play about four teams, so it just starts there. And I would also say the Yankees always have a target on their back, from everybody, so that definitely helps and goes along with it. You plays guys long enough, stuff starts happening, but at the same time you gain respect for them just as much. You play a team enough and there's definitely going to be some extra competitiveness when you play them.
-I talked with Damek Tomscha and he used the word hatred toward the Pirates system. Do you notice that level of rivalry with those guys?