Detroit Tigers 2022 MLB Draft Profile: Elijah Green

DENVER, CO - JULY 10: Elijah Green participates in the Major League Baseball All-Star High School Home Run Derby Finals at Coors Field on July 10, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matt Dirksen/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JULY 10: Elijah Green participates in the Major League Baseball All-Star High School Home Run Derby Finals at Coors Field on July 10, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matt Dirksen/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Tigers have the 12th pick in the 2022 MLB Draft.

Today marks the start of Draft Month here at Motor City Bengals, where we get you prepared for what the Detroit Tigers might do at the top of this year’s draft. You can check out our brief overview of this year’s draft here.

Our focus for today is on high school outfielder Elijah Green from the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Elijah Green Background

The son of ten-year NFL tight end Eric Green, Elijah Green was gaining notice as far back as 2018. He is from Windermere, Florida (birthplace of Tigers pitching prospect Austin Bergner) but he really exploded as a prospect during the summer of 2020, and soon transferred to IMG.

Anointed the top prospect in the 2022 class, Green then underwent a fairly typical process of extreme hype, followed by extreme scrutiny. He put up solid numbers for IMG as a junior, batting .321 with 6 home runs and 10 steals, but his 34/16 strikeout-to-walk ratio led to some concerns.

Those concerns seemed to be reinforced during the showcase circuit in the summer of 2021, when Green showed more swing-and-miss than scouts had hoped. Most prospect ranking sites dropped him below fellow prep hitters Druw Jones and Termarr Johnson.

But Green seems to have allayed some of the concerns about him this year, batting .462 with 9 home runs, 15 steals, and 21 walks to 21 strikeouts. He remains firmly among the top ten prospects in the draft, if not the top five.

Elijah Green Strengths

Few players in recent memory can match the size (6’3, 220) and athleticism of Elijah Green. He earns plus-plus grades for his raw power and speed, plus grades for his arm strength, and has the potential to be a plus defender anywhere in the outfield. MLB Pipeline sums up his potential nicely:

"A right-handed hitter, Green is capable of doing just about everything very well. He can make very loud contact and has proven he can drive the ball to all fields and hit the ball out of the park just about anywhere with at least plus raw power, and he’s done that this spring in front of a lot of decision makers."

If Elijah Green reaches his ceiling he could perform like Matt Kemp and Matt Holiday did in their primes. That is to say, an extremely physical outfielder with 30-30 potential and MVP-level production.

Elijah Green Weaknesses

We touched on this above, but the biggest concern with Elijah Green is his pure hitting ability. For all his tools, Green has shown some troubling swing-and-miss issues against more advanced pitching. FanGraphs lays out the risks:

"Green struck out in a third of his varsity at-bats in 2021, and swung and missed more than he put balls in play during the 2021 summer/fall showcase circuit…He is as gifted as any player in this draft, a 70 runner with 70 future raw power, but Green also has a gigantic amount of hit-tool risk that seems likely to dilute his game power, and threatens to bust him entirely."

That combination of skills and hitting concerns have led to Jo Adell comparisons. Adell developed into a top-five prospect in baseball, but has hit just .204 with 114 strikeouts and just 16 walks over his first 93 big-league games.

Does Elijah Green Fit the Detroit Tigers?

He’s a high-risk, high-reward prospect, but it’s hard to imagine the Tigers not jumping at the chance to draft Green is he’s somehow still available at 12. He would arguably be Detroit’s best power/speed outfield prospect since Kirk Gibson.

The odds are extremely thin he falls that far, though, particularly when the Mets and their giant draft pool pick directly ahead of Detroit.

Next. 5 under-the-radar Detroit Tigers prospects. dark