The new Oakland Athletic: Grant Green

I'm sure we'll all read a ton about Green in the next few days.  And I'm sure someone has scooped me already. But I'd like to give my humble attempt to give you a little bit of outside information.

Green went to high school at Canyon High in Anaheim Hills. He won the ROY there in 2004 after batting 31-72 (.430 AVG) as a sophomore. He followed up going 40-88 his junior year (.455 average) with 3 HRs and 14 SBs.  His senior year (2006) he batted a similar .453 with 4 HRs and again 14 SBs. In 2005, he was a member of Team USA's junior team along with Brett Anderson and Adrian Cardenas. At the 2005 Pan Am Championships, he hit .412.

Heading into the 2006 draft, Green was considered to be around a 3rd round pick talent-wise, but USC offered him a scholarship.  Signability allowed Green to fall.  Green was first drafted by the Padres in the 14th round in 2006 and he wanted $1.4 million to sign.  That 1.4 million was mid to late first round money or what the Astros paid Max Sapp with the 23rd pick

San Diego decided that 1.4 million was too much and Green went to USC.  His freshman year he was the starting SS.  He hit .316/.388/.491/.879.  He showed some power with 26 XBH: 14 doubles, 10 triples (a USC record), and two home runs.  He added 6 SBs.  His K/BB was 51/25.  He also played in the Cape Cod league and there was named the 18th best prospect in the league after playing for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.  He played every infield position and he hit .291 with four home runs and 11 stolen bases.

Sophomore year was more of the same for Green:.390/.438/.644/1.082.  He hit 29 XBH: 15 doubles, five triples, nine home runs.  He had 10 SBs.  His K/BB was 35/15.  Green was looking like a very solid prospect going into the summer.  But it was when he went to the Cape Cod League that he really made a name for himself.

He hit .348/.451/.537/.988 with 6 HRs and 19 XBH.  He stole 10 bases. Fittingly, he played for the Chatham A's.  His performance earned him the Robert A. McNeece Outstanding Pro Prospect Award as the league's top pro prospect, besting Ackley among others.  He also was the All-Star game MVP with a game-tying HR in the 8th inning.   He looked poised for a breakout in 2009 and was being compared to Longoria by his Cape Cod coach John Schiffner

Going into his junior year, Green was the consensus favorite for the number two pick.  On February 6th, Jim Callis said "I think Green has more power and upside with the bat [than Tim Beckham]."  Going into the season, Green was sitting on top of the world. A few questioned his low walk percentage but he had cut down his strikeout percentage between his freshman and sophomore campaign.

And then 2009 happened.  Green started out very, very slowly.  But after 110 PAs, Green had gotten his triple slash in familiar territory.  Green was hitting .375/.455/.552/1.007.  However underneath that lay many warning signs.  He had 11 walks and 22 strikeouts. His BABIP was .472, 139 points higher than the PAC-10 average BABIP.  His near 20 strikeout percentage and near 10 walk percentage was not a recipe for MLB success.  In fact, only one quality major leaguer has succeeded with a less than 10% BB percentage in college since 2001: Troy Tulowitski.

Green's line now sits at .374/.429/.569/.997. He has 24 XBH, 16 SBs, and a 38/20 K/BB ration.  He has a .444 BABIP and 8.6 BB%.  His K% is 16%.  Beyond the Boxscore's adjusted GPA (I'll let them explain it if you click on the link) for Green sits at .341, well below Ackley's .431 or Wheeler's .432.

Then again, the draft is as much about tools as stats. The adjusted OPS leaders of college are as littered with Dan Johnson and John McCurdys as Ryan Brauns.  

Green is a toolshed.  After all, he wouldn't have drawn any comparisons to Longoria and Tulo if he wasn't a 5 tool athlete.  He stands at 6'3 180 and swings RH. 

From BaseballBeginnings his scouting grades 80 being the highest (Now/Future):

Hit 40/65
Power 40/55
Run 50/50
Arm 45/50
Field 40/50

From TheBaseballCube 100 being the highest:

Power 85
Speed 66
Contact 45
Patience 41

Green's swing is not built for power but for average.  Take it from him:

"When I came here [to USC], Coach (Chad) Kreuter told me I had a Japanese-type swing. I was really compact and I hit everything to right field. They widened me out.


I kind of fought it at first. Coach Doyle (Wilson) came in after my freshman year and pretty much tried to change my swing. I was stubborn. It worked. I had been a freshman All-American and went out to the Cape and did well. I was fighting him a little bit, but when he sat me down one day and said, ‘This is exactly what we want to do. I’ll show you some tapes of big leaguers who have it.’ As I thought about it more and more, it made sense. He was working with me on getting the swing planted as fast as possible and as long as possible. It made sense, so I started to buy into it. I had a really steep bat angle and he was really big on getting it to the hitting plane as soon as possible and staying there a long time."

This change in his swing could be partially responsible for early season struggles. 

Ok, I think that's enough links for now.  In summary, Green's defense, effort, walk rate, and power are sometimes questioned.  But he seems like a great average hitter with a chance to develop 15 HR power.  Anytime you can pick up the guy who was considered the #2 pick a couple months ago at 13 you have to do it.

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