Greene rides his wave to Whitecaps

Fifth overall 2019 pick gets call after hot month for Connecticut

Riley Greene sports a career .399 on-base percentage in 33 professional games. (Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)

By Shlomo Sprung / MiLB.com | August 8, 2019 12:17 AM

Riley Greene -- the fifth overall pick in this year's Draft -- only needed 33 games of seasoning before earning a promotion to full-season ball.

Detroit's No. 3 prospect is headed to the Midwest League, the Tigers revealed Wednesday night. In a press release, Class A West Michigan said Greene's expected to be in the starting lineup for Thursday's game against Bowling Green.

The 18-year-old outfielder spent one calendar month with Class A Short Season Connecticut. Greene made his New York Penn-League debut on July 7 and hit safely in his first seven contests. He posted a .295/.380/.386 slash line with five extra-base hits, including a home run, 12 runs scored, seven RBIs and a stolen base in 24 games. The left-handed hitter collected hits in his final six games at the level before going 0-for-2 in Wednesday's 3-0 rain-shortened win over Aberdeen. 

Baseball's No. 49 prospect made his professional debut with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Tigers West on June 24 and went 4-for-5 with two home runs and five RBIs, falling a triple short of the cycle. He went 4-for-5 on July 6, the day before he was promoted to Connecticut. In nine total games, Greene was 13-for-37 with nine runs scored, eight RBIs and three doubles.

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The Orlando native was drafted out of Hagerty High School in nearby Oviedo, Florida. In MLB Pipeline's pre-Draft scouting report, Greene was described as perhaps the best pure hitter in the Draft class. 

"There is no one who doubts Greene will hit at the next level," Pipeline said. "The left-handed hitter has a terrific approach at the plate with a smooth swing."

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound first-rounder will wear No. 23 with the Whitecaps and when he joins the club, he'll become the first West Michigan player born this millennium. He'll join a roster that includes Detroit's No. 12 prospect Parker Meadows, No. 13 Wenceel Perez, No. 24 Andre Lipcius and No. 26 Bryant Packard.

Shlomo Sprung is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @sprungonsports View More