Speed and defense seem to be the name of the game for the New York Mets in the draft. Isaiah Greene certainly fits the bill.
With the 69th pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, the New York Mets select… Isaiah Greene, CF, Corona HS (CA). The Mets seem to have a type. Greene is the second speed and defense-over-offense prep player the Mets took in the 2020 MLB Draft.
That said, Greene and Pete Crow-Armstrong are very different players. The one thing that immediately separates them is consistent production. Crow-Armstrong has had one bad summer that caused him to fall, but otherwise has been as consistent as anyone. The same isn’t true for Greene.
Inconsistency has plagued Greene for years now. He was mediocre in his junior year of high school. He exploded onto scout’s radar with a phenomenal summer. Greene outperformed many of team USA’s elite prospects on the summer showcase and that caught scouts’ attention.
He wasn’t able to keep up that dominant breakout production. It’s only five games, but Greene was only hitting .067 to start 2020. He had just one hit in 21 at-bats.
The tools are there for Greene to be a true five-tool talent, but he hasn’t put it all together for an extended period of time yet. The Mets are betting on their development staff to help bring those tools to the field more consistently.
20 – Awful
30 – Well Below Average
40 – Below Average
45 – Fringe Average
50 – Average
55 – Above Average
60 – Plus
65 – Plus-Plus
70 – Well Above Average
80 – Elite
Hit – 55
Greene just has a natural feel for how to hit. His hand-eye coordination is so good that he’s been able to get by with that and nothing else. His mechanics are all over the place, but when everything lines up, he can really hit to all fields.
Like with all of Greene’s tools, the talent is there, but it’s raw. The hope is that the Mets will get him into the system and teach him the mechanics.
Players rarely have the kind of eye in the box and hand-eye coordination that Greene has at such a young age. That talent is enticing because it means the upside is huge.
It’s going to be on the Mets coaching and development staff to train him up. If he hits his ceiling he could hit in the .280-.300 range. More likely he’ll be a high OBP guy who hits in the .270 range.
Power – 50
Greene didn’t show any power in high school. He hit four home runs in his high school career. Despite those poor numbers, there is every reason to believe that Greene has power he hasn’t tapped into yet.
The biggest is that Greene has a natural launch angle swing. According to Rapsodo, Greene has the 15th best launch angle in the 2020 MLB Draft. That natural swing is going to provide more power as his body fills out. He’s 6-foot-1 and only 180 pounds. As he adds on muscle, the power should start to come in.
If he fixes his mechanics as he moves through the system, the power should be there. Greene’s never going to be a huge home run guy, but sitting somewhere around 15-20 home runs yearly would be more than enough with his speed and defense.
Speed – 65
Greene is a nightmare on the basepaths. His speed is some of the best in the class and he knows how to use it. He stole 17 bases in his four years in high school… on 17 attempts. He was never thrown out trying to steal a base once.
Greene doesn’t only use his speed on the bases, he also puts it good use in the field. It helps him patrol centerfield with remarkable range.
Greene’s speed is his best tool and it should help him make up for some of his deficiencies early on in his career and could make him a special player in the majors.
Arm – 50
Greene doesn’t have the biggest arm in the outfield. It’s not weak by any means, but it’s not going to help him out of jams. This limits his defensive versatility. He’ll likely never be an option in right field due to his arm strength.
That means that Greene is either going to have to stick in center or mover over to left field. Considering he’s in the same prospect class as Crow-Armstrong, that likely means a move over to left field despite Greene’s own defensive strength.
Defense – 55
Greene will be able to stay in center long-term if the Mets need. His speed and natural instincts in the outfield make him an above-average centerfielder. The issue is that he’s going to be coming through the system at the same time as Pete Crow-Armstrong.
Crow-Armstrong is the best defender in the 2020 MLB Draft and he just so happens to also play center. That likely means that Greene is going to have to move over to make room for him. With Greene’s average arm strength, a move to left field makes the most sense.
Whatever the Mets end up doing with Greene moving forward, it’s clear they are getting, at the very least, an above-average fielder. With more work, he could improve to be a plus fielder or even better in the future.
A future outfield that features Greene and Crow-Armstrong would be a nightmare for opponents. Anything hit to about 67% of the outfield would seem like an automatic out.