Draft Prospect Watch: Is Elijah Green a Good Option for the Pirates

This is our second Draft Prospect Watch of the 2022 draft season. We are still nearly three months away from the draft and there will be a lot of movement around the top of the draft class between now and then. Last week we started at the top with Druw Jones, the player who has been the consensus first overall pick recently. This week we go with a much more realistic option for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the guy who was considered to be the top player in this draft class a year ago.

I was going to go with someone else this week until reading a recent update on Elijah Green from Jim Callis. Green had fallen in the rankings due to a summer last year that left some question marks for scouts, which allowed Druw Jones and others (depending on the source) to pass him in the rankings. We aren’t talking about a huge drop here, but it’s still quite a difference from when fans of the worst teams in baseball were tweeting out #tankforElijah, hoping their team would have the worst record in 2021 so they could draft him. The Pirates finished with the fourth overall pick this year, which actually puts them in a good spot to select Green. The update from Callis shows why he could be a good pick for the Pirates.

Callis noted that Green has been answering some of the questions surrounding his bat. There’s no doubt that he has upside. MLB Pipeline ranks him as having 60 grade power, fielding and arm, and 70 grade speed. The bat gets a solid 50 grade. While Baseball America only listed one grade in their report, they basically describe the same type of player. Last summer there were some worries about him swinging through better velocity, as well as having some troubles with off-speed pitches. This year he has tightened up his approach at the plate and he has been making more consistent hard contact according to Callis, who says that Green has the highest upside in the class.

Even with the previous questions, the worst case scenario (keeping in mind that no high school player is a guarantee) is that he doesn’t get on base a lot, but he hits for power, has plus speed and plays strong defense in the outfield, possibly center field. He has 30/30 potential according to some scouts. Green is 6’3″, 225 pounds, highly athletic and he turned 18 back in December. He has a commitment to Miami, but you would assume that he’s going pro. He is ranked third right now by Pipeline, Kiley McDaniel/ESPN and Keith Law/The Athletic, and fifth by Baseball America.

Here are some videos, starting with a good one to get to know him:

Here are some good looks at his swing in a game from March 18th

Finally, this video has some running, throwing and then three different views of the same batting practice

2022 Draft
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