Stability has mostly eluded Marcus Greene thus far in his pro career.
There was the position change when he was drafted. Then the Tommy John surgery. Then the trade two months later. Then the shuffling between affiliates before he ever got a chance to get settled.
Now, finally, the 22-year-old Padres catcher has some semblance of stability for the first time. With it, Greene is showing what he can do.
Greene has been one of the biggest stars of the offseason in Australian Baseball League this winter, hitting .324/.339/.514 with six home runs (tied for the league lead) and 23 RBI (second) for the Adelaide Bite through Jan. 12. He has done that while posting a superb .992 fielding percentage and 32 percent caught stealing rate as Adelaide’s starter catcher.
“I’m thankful that I’m able to compete,” Greene said in an email. “It (was) a great feeling when I was asked if I wanted to come to Australia and play in the ABL and knowing I’m going to play. You know what’s asked of you, and you simply go do it. It’s pretty simple to get into a groove and enjoy the time a little better knowing day in and day out that you’ll be on the field competing in every ball game.”
Greene starred at Vista del Lago High in Moreno Valley, Calif., as a prep player, becoming the first player ever drafted out of the school when the Marlins took him in the 39th round in 2012. He instead went to New Mexico JC, where he worked as a left field/catcher/designated hitter and was drafted by the Rangers in the 16th round in 2013.
Immediately, he was tasked with becoming a full-time catcher, a difficult enough adjustment to make in pro ball. Just when he was getting settled and comfortable behind the plate—even earning Northwest League all-star honors in 2014 with short-season Spokane—Greene tore his ulnar collateral ligament in June 2015, which required Tommy John surgery.
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