Isaiah Greene didn’t put up the offensive numbers he hoped he would during his junior season last year.
The left-handed hitting prep outfielder thrived as a sophomore in 2018 for Corona High in California, but then last season, he saw a dip in his batting average and on-base percentage. He wavered from his approach and pressed at the plate with professional scouts in attendance, which led to some early season struggles, he said.
“I struggled with trying to do too much with my approach instead of staying simple and trying to be a gap-to-gap hitter,” Greene said. “I tried to do too much and didn’t stay within myself.”
Last summer, Greene bounced back and showed improvement at the plate. He thrived at the Area Code Games and then performed well on the scout team that played against the USA Baseball’s 18-and-under team prior to its departure for international competition in the fall.
He impressed scouts in both those opportunities to position himself as a potential top-three-round pick for June’s MLB draft entering this spring.
“It’s super humbling to me because I’ve put in so much work, so to see it paying off is super cool for me and my family,” Greene said. “I like to thank my dad for helping me all these years, and my brother has been a big part with helping me too. Now that it’s all coming together, it’s super cool and it’s a great experience right now.”
Greene is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound center fielder who has an impressive set of raw tools. He’s a four-tool player, as he doesn’t possess much power, but he can drive the ball at times with his line-drive approach.
His top trait is his above-average speed that will allow him to stick in center field long term and create havoc on the base pads. Although he has room to grow with his routes and reads in center field, he has a strong arm to play the position.
Since he was 14 years old, Greene has worked with a personal trainer on his speed at former NFL running back Toby Gerhart’s house, he said.
“I’ve always had the speed,” Greene said. “Since I was 14, I would have done speed training at Toby Gerhart’s house. I just do treadmills with that, but it’s helped me get a lot faster. My dad found him somehow, and ever since then, I’d go train at his house in his garage.”
Greene has dedicated time this offseason to refining his swing and outfield skills. He’s worked on his mechanics and approach, as he wants to make sure he builds on last summer’s success when he showed an excellent contact-oriented approach.
“I would like to see myself improve on my approach and stay within myself and not do too much,” Greene said. “I want to hit the gaps and just do me and not try to worry about what any other people say.”
Scouts took notice of Greene after he excelled against top competition last summer. If he can build on that during his senior season this spring, then Greene likely will be an early-round draft pick in June. If that happens, Greene will have to decide between embarking on a pro career straight out of high school or attending the University of Missouri.
Greene committed to Missouri over UNLV on Sept. 16 due to his relationship with the coaches and his desire to play in the Southeastern Conference, he said.
“I just like how they are a close-knit team,” Greene said. “Everyone is so close to each other, and the bond is unreal up there. The coaching staff is unreal. I really like how Todd Butler was explaining to me about the hitting aspects of it. I just felt real comfortable there. I’m excited to get up there.”
Read more stories on top 2020 MLB draft prospects here.
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for five years. He’s interviewed 191 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.