For a second straight calendar year, the New York Mets’ draft method was to infuse their procedure with high-close, higher-influence expertise that provided using hazards on players with signability questions.
And although teams prioritize talent above need to have, the Mets were capable to include two exciting gamers within just their first a few picks of the 2020 MLB Draft that fill a big void in their process: substantial-upside outfielders.
With their first choose (19th overall), the Mets selected Pete Crow-Armstrong, an outfielder from Harvard-Westlake Superior Faculty in Los Angeles. Which is the very same superior faculty that has witnessed a trio of commencing pitchers get drafted in the very first spherical in new a long time in Max Fried (2012), Lucas Giolito (2012), and Jack Flaherty (2014).
Soon after drafting Mississippi Point out ideal-hander J.T. Ginn with the 52nd all round select in the second round, the Mets picked another outfielder with their compensatory decide on they acquired when Zack Wheeler signed with the Phillies final offseason in Isaiah Greene, a California prep outfielder.
Greene, 18, is a fast, left-handed hitter who can impact a activity with his speed each on protection and on the basepaths, and is generally lauded for his terrific speak to-oriented strategy at the plate.
Tommy Tanous, the Mets’ vice president of amateur scouting, summed up what the club felt about their choice of Greene with the 69th total choose: “He does NOT belong wherever we took him.”
Greene grew up idolizing Ken Griffey Jr., primarily viewing YouTube clips of the Corridor of Fame centerfielder as Greene was born in 2001 when Junior was presently in his 13th significant league period.
His father and older brother, Elijah, introduced Greene to the game of baseball, as Greene looked up to his brother on the diamond.
“I utilised to always check out my brother perform when he was youthful, and I often just followed in his footsteps,” Greene claimed.
The initial sport Greene performed as a youth was soccer, even though he admits that was just so he could get out of the house. Greene played basketball for 1 calendar year as nicely, but baseball quickly grew to become his passion.
A single of Greene’s greatest tools is his velocity. His 6.48-2nd 60-property dash time ranked in the 99th percentile among the probable 2020 draftees recorded by Best Recreation. Speed has been an factor of Greene’s game that he’s labored on at a substantial-end amount because he was 14-yrs-outdated.
He began performing with a particular trainer, Kyle Hatton, at former NFL operating back again Toby Gerhart’s house.
“It 1st begun off with my brother and cousin operating out there, and then I started off to go together with them. And at any time considering that then that is when I begun performing out and just managing with him on treadmills either once or 2 times a 7 days.”
Greene attended Corona Superior School in California, wherever he thrived as a sophomore, slashing .389/.494/.597 in 89 plate appearances, when a fantastic 9-for-9 in stolen foundation tries. His batting ordinary and on-base share took a dip in his junior season in 2019, with his batting normal slipping 62 factors (.327) and his OBP 103 details (.391).
Greene bounced back for the duration of the Location Code Games that summer season, putting up a slash line of .429/.438/.714, which impressed scouts.
What aided Greene in his summertime turnaround? Looking the fastball.
“I just centered on fastballs and staying all set to hit people,” Greene claimed. “At showcases like that, that’s very much all they are going to throw to just light up the radar guns.”
Greene realizes what that summer showcase did for his benefit heading into his senior year and the 2020 Draft.
“It was pretty essential for me mainly because honestly, I didn’t have that large of a identify prior to that. At the time I did fantastic there that is when my title started blowing up.”
Next his solid effectiveness in the Region Code Video games, Greene after once more stood out as portion of a scout staff that performed versus Usa Baseball’s 18-and-beneath team, which Crow-Armstrong was on. Greene’s functionality against major level of competition more than the summer months and slide served improve his draft inventory again up.
Greene performed in only 5 online games in his senior calendar year of superior faculty in advance of COVID-19 prevented the speedy outfielder from creating off his mounting stature. With his season cancelled, Greene ongoing to coach and used the options he had all over him.
“Lucky for me, I have a batting cage in my backyard. I normally strike back there with my father quite a lot each and every day,” Greene explained. “Then on the weekends I have a key to the baseball subject to my higher faculty, so I’d go hit on the discipline on the weekends. I have a exercise session position referred to as Winner Circle and I’m there four times a 7 days.”
As the Draft approached, Greene was enthusiastic, yet anxious of what to expect. He knew the Mets experienced curiosity, but felt a sense of reduction with his relatives and some friends by his side after he lastly listened to his name identified as on the second day of the Draft.
“It was demanding a small bit due to the fact you under no circumstances know in which you are going to finish up, but the moment I lastly listened to my name known as it was like a body weight off my shoulder.”
With no Slight League Baseball time this yr, businesses are holding their players liable for staying in shape and doing baseball functions devoid of the watchful eye of coaches and instructors all around.
“All they want me to do very a lot is mail them videos of me hitting and all that,” Greene stated about what the Mets have requested him to do to stay suit. “That’s fairly much all they want me to do.”
At 6-foot-one particular and 180 kilos, Greene already has an athletic create with home to incorporate muscle mass to raise his electrical power manufacturing. Which is a unique place of focus for Greene, who did hit 4 residence runs in his junior period following not hitting any for the duration of his freshman and sophomore seasons.
The Mets signed Greene for $850,000, an less than slot offer which ended up conserving the Mets all around $80,000 (the slot worth for the pick was $929,800). Greene experienced been dedicated to the College of Missouri but made the decision the time was right to go pro.
“Playing in the SEC was my aspiration, so it was form of hard for me to flip it down,” Greene explained. “But honestly, actively playing pro ball was also my dream. So after I saw every thing was correct and anything was suitable for me and my loved ones, which is when I created the determination to go indicator my contract.”
The California indigenous is fired up to embark on his professional job, and is keen to take a look at the Major Apple for the really initial time. As a kid, the only portion of New York Greene visited was Cooperstown, while when asked what he’s most seeking ahead to observing in New York, Greene’s a young gentleman that understands what he wishes.
“I just want to play in the Big Apple.”
Abide by Isaiah Greene on Twitter: @Isaiah24greene