Here’s what A.J. Hinch said regarding Riley Greene and his teammate, who I just covered in my Spencer Torkelson fantasy, “It’s gonna be big drama, and you guys are gonna ask a lot, and I love that. I love the pressure on these guys. And then we’ll see where it takes us. I hope they put all kinds of pressure on us for Opening Day.” Trying not to lose my shizz that every prospect, who is ready, should be called up when they’re ready. The system is so broken when they look at guys and think, “He’s going to make it tough on us. We know he’s ready, but we also don’t want to pay him in the landmark case of sooner vs. later.” For me, I know a guy is ready when they rip up Triple-A, which Riley Greene did: 8/4/.308 in only 159 ABs. Tigers prospects to finally get excited about (with Spencer), huh? Gotta love it (that’s an order). Mean Gene Riley Greene’s 2022 is going to have a lot to do with how much the Tigers are playing Service Time Games, which sounds like a bad Chris Isaak song. (Are there good Chris Isaak songs? Don’t answer that.) And how well Greene does in the spring. If he has a 5/5/.400+ type spring, he might force his way into the Opening Day roster. It’s not like the Tigers have anyone else in front of him to stop him. Like Cuban regimes, they’re basically rotating in and out of Castros. Willi Castro here, Harold Castro there, neither Castro is any good. So, what can we expect from Riley Greene for 2022 fantasy baseball?
Combining his 124 games at Double and Triple-A, Riley Greene went 24/16/.301 with 25 doubles, eight triples and a 11.5% walk rate and 27.6 K%. That last rate worries me a tad. He is 21 years old (he was the youngest guy at Double-A this year), so I’m not writing him off as a guy who can’t make contact, but when a guy with a 27% strikeout rate comes up, here’s what happens: The strikeout rate balloons to 32%, then people are like, “Damn, I wanted to like Riley but he comes with a .230 average, and I can’t afford that. Maybe some other time!” Then his strikeout rate falls back to 27% and people are like, “That’s better, but he’s still a .250 hitter, and I already have Mark Canha.” Finally, when Riley’s forgotten, his strikeout rate drops to 20%, he hits .285 and people are like, “Wow, where did that come from? He’s breaking out late in his career,” and he’s really only 23 years old. That’s obviously a trend I’ve seen happen more than once. So, he might hit .230 this year, what about the power?
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 24, 2021
Looks like he’s getting jammed there and still drives it the opposite way to the wall. By tee dubs, I’m not basing anything on one video. I’m looking at two! No, I kid. I’m watching a lot of videos and reading what people are saying about a guy. Anyway, here’s what he does when he can pull the ball:
? Riley Greene alert?
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) October 2, 2021
Five tools gets a bad rap because it’s tossed around with hyperbole, but this guy is five tools without the hyperbole. On Prospect Itch’s top 100 fantasy baseball prospects, I watched the top 20 or so, and from what I’ve seen, Riley Greene has earned his 6th overall ranking, while also getting short shrift because the guys in front of him are so good. Guess Riley is Greene with envy. *falls down a staircase, sits up* Tah-dah!
My biggest concern is early Ks, which could mean he hits .210 in spring, and is sent to the minors until June/July. He still is so young. If I knew right now, he was breaking camp in March, I’d give him insanely solid projections for a rookie, but I’m not that optimistic yet. Think we don’t see him for a couple months. For 2022, I’ll give Riley Greene projections of 41/15/47/.247/7 in 306 ABs with a chance for more based on promotion date. He’s the type that I would reach for in early deep leagues, because if he does well in the spring, and breaks camp, he’s a ROY candidate for real and especially fantasy. Speed and power rules!