Blueclaws

Lakewood’s Greene motivated by high expectations

Larry Greene, Image- Jay Floyd

The pressure that comes with being a top draft pick is something that many players will not confess to feeling, but for one prospect it’s something he openly admits to experiencing and says it’s what will drive him to live up to high expectations.

With a lack of considerable progress in the three years that have passed since Larry Greene Jr. was drafted with the 39th overall pick out of Berrien Country High School in Georgia many have grown impatient with the young outfielder’s progress.

The 21-year-old, who has struggled with his offensive production since turning pro, openly admits to feeling the weight and pressure of being the Phillies’ top pick in 2011.

“I feel like I need to produce and be more of a team leader,” Greene asserted.  “Everybody has a specific job and the scoreboard tells us what we can do and us players go day by day.  But, I do feel expectations for me, like I need to turn it on and get it moving.  I just feel like the rest of this year is going to be big for me and I’m just going to do what I can.”

Another well touted high school pick taken early by the Phillies was Anthony Hewitt, a player that fans have begun drawing comparisons to, when it comes to Greene.  Hewitt denied on multiple occasions feeling any urgency to prove the Phillies right for drafting him 24th overall in 2008.  That outlook and his results on the field led to the outfielder, who possessed a .223/.264/.370 slash line after six years in the professional ranks, being released by the Phillies in June.

Those that described Hewitt as a bust in recent years were proven correct when the Phils gave up on him.  Bust is a word that Greene, who was touted for his big time power upon being drafted and hit his first homer in 51 weeks last weekend, doesn’t want to have applied to him when things are said and done.  But, he doesn’t dwell on that possibility either.

“You can’t have any negative thoughts here.  If you have negative thoughts, you’re going to be screwed in this game.  I just got to be positive.  It’s a mental game.  I’m talking to (my hitting coach) everyday, making sure my head’s clear.  It’s going good for me,” Greene stated.

According to Greene’s manager with Class A Lakewood, Greg Legg, the youngster still has the power potential that scouts once determined was worthy of a million dollar signing bonus.  The Phillies’ coaches see what’s missing.  It’s something Greene’s been working on this year.

“We’re doing some work on his load, on his leg kick.  They added that in extended (spring training) and then he hurt his wrist.  It’s a timing thing and we’re giving him a little more time,” Legg shared in his office last week.

The wrist injury Legg mentioned is an ailment that was initially diagnosed as a cartilage tear that required surgery, but rehab and rest did the trick for Greene, who returned to action sooner than anticipated.  The injury kept the 21-year-old out of action for two months this season, however.

Greene’s progress isn’t visible in the stats lines yet, but he feels the improvements resulting from the mechanical adjustments he has undertaken are coming along and he mentioned once more an understanding of what everyone’s waiting for from him.

“All the work I put in, when I was down there rehabbing, when I came back up here to continue it, I don’t know, it’s a big change and it needs to happen pretty soon here,” Greene said.

The lefty hitting Greene entered this season with a .236 career average with six home runs and 54 RBI in 181 career games.  In 47 games this season he sports a .189 average with a homer and 17 RBI.

The weak stats give him just a bit more incentive.

“I know I’m better than that,” Greene said.  “I know I can produce numbers.  I just have to be- the confidence has to be there everyday.”

While he works on mechanical tweaks at the plate, the now healthy Greene feels it won’t be long before everything starts to click.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Robotnik

    August 2, 2014 at 10:35 am

    You go, Larry Greene Jr.! One million dollar signing bonus and .189 BA. Another example of the horrible job by Ruben, his corps of incompetent scouts, and lousy coaches.

    • boots

      August 2, 2014 at 11:20 am

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. This team is doomed for another 20 years.

  2. Joefa

    August 2, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I’d guess, at this point, that there is less than a 10% chance of Greene ever slipping on a Phillies uniform. Will he ever have a major league at bat?

  3. Double Trouble Del

    August 2, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    This prospect has reported for camp out of shape and overweight in 2012 and 2013 and each year had an excuse. I expect nothing but his ultimate release come 2016.

  4. bacardipr05

    August 2, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Doulbe i agree next year is his make or break year.

  5. william spears

    August 3, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Larry Greene is even a bigger bust than Hewitt. At least Hewitt got out of A ball. It doesn’t look like Greene will ever do that.

  6. Muhammad

    November 29, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Where in the Constitution is the federal grvnonmeet given authority to govern education nationally? Where is it given authority to collect education data? Nowhere. Through the 14th Amendment it must stop discrimination by states and districts, and it has jurisdication over federal lands and Washington, DC, but that is it. And what has shredding the Constitution gotten us? Stagnant NAEP scores, hundreds of billions of dollars down the drain, and nearly complete federal control of the schools. Ignore the Constitution just a little, and the door is unlocked to walk out on it completely.

  7. Sebastian

    December 1, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Sorry Rick, it is not nearly as slipme as you claim. Check out on union membership for several European nations. From looking at it, I’d say union membership is unrelated to economic prosperity. But, every nation has different laws relating to unions.What I’d compare is US states. are losing population and jobs to . This is a long-term economic trend, but it is much easier to analyze given the consistency of US labor law (and other national economic policies) as opposed to the massive policy and cultural differences seen even within Europe.

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