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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Khalil Greene

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 10/21/79, Age: 23, Height: 5’10’’, Weight: 190, Bats: R, Throws: R. Acquired: Padres - Drafted in the 1st Round of the 2002 Draft (Clemson University). 2002 Stats: (Sseason-A - Eugene) .270 AVG, 37 AB, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 SB, 5 BB, 6 K, .297 OBP, .400 SLG; (High-A - Lake Elsinore) .317 AVG, 183 AB, 9 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 0 SB, 12 BB, 33 K, .368 OBP, .525 SLG. 2003 Stats: (AA - Mobile) .231 AVG, 134 AB, 7 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 1 SB, 14 BB, 34 K, .309 OBP, .381 SLG.
    Khalil Greene was the Baseball America College Player of the Year in 2002, and was drafted with the 13th pick of the draft by the Padres. Greene is a hitter first, with a smooth swing that generates line drives to all fields. He is certainly capable of batting for a high average, perhaps to the extent of being a future candidate for the #3 slot in the Padres’ lineup. He has some power as well…probably not 30 homer power, but 15 to 20 should be within his reach. His batting eye is about right for a quality college hitter. It isn’t stupendous, but he’s walking about once every ten plate appearances in AA this season. That’s up from last season’s 1:14, so he’s heading down the proper path. We’ve got a rather small sample size to work with in his short pro career: only 354 at bats spread over three levels. Keeping that in mind, my biggest problem with Greene’s hitting thus far is his lack of contact at the plate. Making contact was supposed to be one of Greene’s best attributes, according to scouts who watched him play college ball, but he has struck out 67 times at high-A and AA in only 317 at-bats: barely over half a season. His AA numbers are not top prospect material so far, and he is already 23, but I’ll give him the “small sample size” benefit of the doubt for now. On the bases, Greene has good speed, but hasn’t shown it off in terms of stealing bases at all. He’s capable of double digits in that category as well, but we may have to wait a few years to see it. In the field, his range and arm are positives, but he is still reasonably inconsistent. He is not one of these players that appears to be on the path to “outgrow” shortstop, so there’s no reason to think that he couldn’t handle it at the big league level. He has the skills to do so, which is all the Pads are concerned with at this point, I imagine. Greene is the total package for a shortstop prospect, but to me, he projects more to be a solid major leaguer rather than a star.
    The Padres have an awful lot of prospects, both hitters and pitchers, but shortstop is a weak position for them, and Greene appears to be their long-term answer. If they can just keep what they have together, though, and a few of the prospects develop reasonably well, here is a potential lineup for Opening Day 2005: Kotsay, Burroughs, Klesko, Nevin, Nady, Gautreau, Rivera, and Greene, with a rotation of Peavy, Eaton, Perez, and a few out of Bynum, Lawrence, Howard, and Tankersley. I would be impressed by that setup, and I think the Pads could contend in the NL West by then, if not next year. As for Greene, he isn’t extremely critical to the Padres plans with the performance of Ramon Vazquez, but he could help, especially if Sean Burroughs keeps turning into Miguel Cairo. I do think that Greene will develop into something that will help the Padres more than Ramon Vazquez, even as good as he has been for them this year. In lieu of a better match, I’m going to give Greene a comparable player of Edgar Renteria. Renteria had a much earlier start to his pro career, but I think he illustrates a player that has attributes that Greene is capable of on one hand, but fell short of what Greene is capable of on some other counts (but still has the potential to get there himself). Greene is at AA now, and probably will be for much of this season, but I would expect him to get a few at-bats in San Diego this year. He should be there to stay, if all goes well, by 2005.


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