We’re winding down day two at the 2019 MLB Draft. With their eighth-round selection, and the 255th pick overall, the Yankees drafted right-handed pitcher Zach Greene out of the University of Southern Alabama. Greene stands in at 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds. He turns 23 years old in August of this year, making him quite a bit older than most college players taken in the draft.
MLB Pipeline did not rank Greene among their top 200 draft prospects, and Baseball America didn’t place him among their top 500. It appears we have reached the point in the draft where the industry’s top prospect rankings might not mention the players the teams ultimately take.
Greene mostly pitched as a reliever at Southern Alabama. In 2019, Greene tossed 49.2 innings with a sparkling 1.45 ERA, striking out 70 batters against just eight walks. Relievers typically need to really impress working in shorter stints in order to warrant getting drafted, and Greene seems to have done enough.
According to MLB.com, “(Greene’s) fastball sits in the 89-93 range but he racks up the strikeouts, and he gets a lot of swings-and-misses in the strike zone.” It doesn’t sound like Greene is entirely overpowering, but that hasn’t stopped him from fanning college batters.
As an older pitcher who doesn’t have tremendous size or power, Greene stands out as a bit of an odd pick for the Yankees, though now that we’re over 250 picks deep, we can’t expect many players with elite size or tools to be coming off the board. We’ll see what the Yankees come up with in the ninth and tenth rounds, their final selections of today.