Numbers don't lie: Tigers' Riley Greene is already among MLB's elite outfielders

By nearly every metric, Riley Greene is one of the best left fielders in all of baseball.
Detroit Tigers v Houston Astros
Detroit Tigers v Houston Astros / Tim Warner/GettyImages
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With Kerry Carpenter confined to the IL for the time being and Spencer Torkelson back down in Triple-A after a dismal start to the season, Riley Greene is the last man standing from what was supposed to be the Tigers' Big Three. Although both Carpenter and Greene were sidelined for stretches last season, all three came off of promising years and hinted at adding some power to Detroit's power-deficient lineup.

Greene got off to a rocky start to the season (he didn't hit above .214 until April 13), but has since found his stride and currently leads Tigers hitters in multiple categories. He's hit 14 homers, driven in 37 runs, and has walked 38 times to lead the team. His .830 OPS is also nearly 100 points higher than Matt Vierling's, who lands in second place.

In even better news, Greene seems to be heating up as over his last seven games, he's hitting .345 with three homers and 12 RBI, half of which came on June 15 during his best game to date. He went 4-5 at the plate with two home runs, for 10 total bases on the night.

To say that Greene is carrying the Tigers' offense on his back isn't a total stretch. Matt Vierling has also stepped up in a big way, and Mark Canha is doing what he does best and is getting on base (his .352 OBP leads the Tigers), but Greene's return to the team after Tommy John has shaped up as one of the best things to happen to the Tigers this season.

Riley Greene's stats make him the best hitting left fielder in the AL and essential to the Tigers

The Tigers posted a graphic of Greene's stats through June 12 and encouraged fans to vote him into the first All-Star appearance of his career. It showed him leading all AL left fielders in multiple categories, and although those numbers are a few days old, he's started to run away with the lead in a few of those categories since then. His OPS rose to .830, his slugging to .481, OBP to .349, walks to 38, homers to 14, and runs to 48 (though he was just barely surpassed by the Red Sox's Jarren Duran, who has 49).

All of those numbers undoubtedly make Greene All-Star caliber. Even if he doesn't managed to get his first appearance, it further proves how essential he's become to the Tigers. If the rest of the lineup could just pick it up around him, then we could have a serious contender on our hands.

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