The 'Spectacular' Riley Greene Show Continues At Comerica Park

"He looks like a Gold Glover."

Will Burchfield
July 16, 2020 - 10:08 am
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It's only been a couple weeks, but you wonder if Ron Gardenhire is running out of things to say about Riley Greene. 

For his latest act, the 19-year-old phenom blasted an opposite field home run and submitted yet another web gem in the Tigers' intrasquad scrimmage Wednesday night. 

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"I enjoy watching him play," Gardenhire said. "I think we’ve talked about this before."

We have. But Greene keeps forcing us to circle back. For all the hype he arrived with last year as the fifth overall pick, it almost feels like we sold the dude short. He's been even better than we imagined, specifically in the field.

When Austin Romine blooped a potential double into right field Wednesday night, Greene closed on the ball quickly then laid out for the catch. 

Riley Greene Is Proving His Point -- And That Of The Tigers

"He really doesn’t have much fear," said Gardenhire. "When we saw him in spring training we knew he had things to work on defensively, and now you’re seeing him out here and he looks like a Gold Glover.

"I guess that’s what happens to kids. They get a bigger audience, as far as the Major League staff being around a bunch, he’s been around us, he’s more comfortable and you just go play." 

When Greene was drafted, we were led to believe he was a corner outfielder. And that was fine, given his talent with that bat. But he's looked like a star in center since joining the Tigers organization, and the Tigers themselves are starting to look pretty smart for sticking him there. 

"There’s a reason he was a first-round pick," Gardenhire said. "It’s not just that he can hit. He’s a talented athlete, and I think we’re seeing that. He’s made some spectacular plays and the routine ones, which makes me feel better when you just do the things you’re supposed to. But those catches are impressive." 

So was his home run. Greene took a changeup on the outside part of the plate from Matt Manning and grooved it over the fence in left center, with seemingly no effort. 

Again, the Tigers aren't going to keep Greene in Detroit this season. It doesn't matter what he does through the rest of Summer Camp. He's still a couple years away from the majors. 

But as the show rolls on at Comerica Park, you get the feeling he might be closer than we think.