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2019 MLB Draft: Tigers select Riley Greene with 5th overall pick

The Tigers take the prep outfielder with the fifth overall selection.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres Photo by Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

With the fifth pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, the Tigers selected outfielder Riley Greene out of Hagerty High School. While Greene doesn’t have quite the ceiling that his draft classmate Bobby Witt Jr. does, what Greene does possess is a track record of performance against high levels of competition, one of the better hit tools amongst prep hitters, and a bunch of projectability that makes him one of the more interesting position prospects in the entire draft.

Almost all of the value that one will get from Greene is with his bat with some even projecting him to have a plus-plus hit tool down the line assuming his development goes well. He has a good approach at the plate and sees a lot of pitches in his at-bats although this has led to some bumps in his strikeout totals. While he has more hard line drive power right now, the nice thing about Greene is that his 6-foot-2 frame has plenty of room to add strength which, with his hit tool, should result in decent to plus power output. Given that speed isn’t a big part of his game, adding the extra muscle/strength shouldn’t hurt him much if at all.

While Greene is one of the better prep hitters in the class, he doesn’t come without some areas of concern. He is not a strong runner which not only limits his ceiling on the base paths, but also means he is likely destined for a corner outfield spot. That isn’t a problem necessarily given what many project his bat could be, but it worth noting that his future defensive home is limited and he won’t be providing much value with his glove without significant improvement.