Much ado about Taylor Green. (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
Tryna get the Green like I’m waiting at a long light
broke just doesn’t suit me, girl, and every night is prom night
Brewers utility infielder Taylor Green has only played in 78 games spanning two seasons at the Major League level, but it sure feels like a heck of a lot more.
Drafted in the 25th round by Milwaukee in 2005, the former top hitting prospect in the organization broke through with Milwaukee in 2011, hitting .270 and earning a spot on the postseason roster despite only appearing in 20 games. Hopes were high entering 2012 for Green but a .184/.265/.340 slash line over 117 plate appearances didn’t get the job done as he was sent back and forth between Milwaukee and Triple-A Nashville.
Just a year after it seemed that Green, 26, would be a mainstay in the Brewers infield for years, there is much uncertainty surrounding what, in fact, the organization wants to do with him.
Green watches a three-run homer fly out of Miller Park, one of his three on the year (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
As for this spring, the British Columbia, Canada, native is in a battle for one of the reserve infield spots available. Unlike much of his competition – Bobby Crosby, Donnie Murphy, and Alex Gonzalez, to be specific – Green has the option of spending time in the minors again if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster. With Aramis Ramirez, Jean Segura, Rickie Weeks, and Mat Gamel (knee withstanding) locks for the 25-man roster and Corey Hart set to open the season on the disabled list, the competition for the other two, maybe three spots (Ron Roenicke’s preference being the independent variable here) are down to the following: Green, Crosby, Murphy, Gonzalez, Jeff Bianchi, and Scooter Gennett.
If the Brewers go with Green, they’ll be adding a left-handed bat to come off the bench in most games. He is a .270/.357/.570 hitter with all three of his career homers coming as a substitute compared to only batting .184 as a starter. Compared to Gamel – Hart’s expected fill-in at first – Green is a plus defender, but, overall, is nothing flashy on defense. He has the versatility to play first, second, and third base at a respectable level, meaning he’ll give you replacement-level fielding and could flash some pop at the plate, but could become a liability in the lineup.
After years of riding the buses, this should all-in-all be Green’s first full Big League season; in addition to that, however, it could be Green’s make-or-break year with the Brewers. He had one of the best seasons by any Brewers minor leaguer in recent memory with Nashville in 2011 (.336 average, .997 OPS, 22 home runs) and has done what it takes to make the majors.
One of the many competitions happening in Maryvale this spring for Milwaukee, the battle for the final infield spots lacks a strong threshold of upside for the most part, and Green gives the Brewers the best chance at having a player to come off the bench and help win games off all the names mentioned. Expect to see him on the Opening Day roster, wedging in a start or two every week.
2013 RtB Predictions: 303 PA, .251/.313/.402, 8 HR, 38 RBI, 30 R, 5 SB, eyes of steel.
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