Oakland Athletics Prospect Grant Green – Mr. Utility
Grant Green is doing everything he can to get a call-up to the major leagues. Originally drafted as a shortstop in the first round (13th overall) in the 2009 MLB Draft out of USC by the Oakland A’s, Green has made position changes throughout his minor league career, moving from shortstop to centerfield, and now more recently playing second base. In his one and a half season’s alone playing for the Sacramento River Cats, A’s Triple-A affiliate, Green has played left field, center field, first base, second base, third base, and shortstop. While Green searches for a home at a position, being versatile just may be his ticket up to the big leagues.
Green has been a rising prospect within the A’s organization. He went straight to high Single-A Stockton when drafted and spent a year there before moving on to Double-A Midland. After a year there, he made his way on to Triple-A Sacramento, where he’s been ever since the start of the 2012 season. Coming into this 2013 season, Green was #8 on Keith Law’s top 10 organizational prospect list for the A’s and #3 on MLB.com top 20 organizational prospect list. Currently in his second season with the River Cats, Green is batting an even .300, with 46 R’s, 81 H’s, 7 HR’s, 40 RBI’s, and a .814 OPS, in 62 games played.
There was a thought that Green could possibly win the starting second baseman job for the A’s coming out of Spring Training. He was locked in a tough middle-infield position battle with current River Cats teammate Jemile Weeks, and current A’s players Jed Lowrie (current A’s shortstop), Adam Rosales, and Eric Sogard (current A’s second baseman).
If there is one thing Green has proven he can do at each level, it is he can hit. A career .301 hitter, his lowest career batting average in the minors was .291 at Double-A Midland; all the rest of the time batting at or above .300. However, plate discipline is not his forte. Early on in his career, he has posted a 117/38 K/BB ratio at high Single-A Stockton and a 119/39 K/BB ratio at Double-A Midland. While here at Triple-A Sacramento, he has gotten better, posting a 75/33 ratio in his first year here, and so far this 2013 season, Green has posted a 52/22 ratio. For an organization (A’s) that prides itself on patience-at-the-plate, it is definitely one aspect of Green’s game that he will need to improve upon.
I think Green can stick in the big leagues once he finally settles down into a permanent position; that position I think will be at second base. He may get a September call-up here toward the end of the season, as Green is probably not next in line for a mid-season call-up if there were an injury. Conventional wisdom is that Weeks would be the mid-season call-up should an injury occur to a current A’s middle infielder, as he already has big league experience, being with the A’s for most of the 2012 season and the latter part of the 2011 season. I think the plan is for Green to continue to work on his game with the River Cats this season in preparation for the 2014 season, where he can make the A’s roster out of Spring Training and be that Mr. Utility player that every team covets and loves. There is always a roster spot for someone like Green who can play multiple infield and outfield positions. Until a more defined role is carved out for him, Mr. Utility is a role that Green should embrace and hopefully it lands him a spot and career in the majors.