This year is a make or break year for Tyler Greene. The former first round pick has the talent to play regularly in the majors, but he hasn’t performed well enough to stick in St. Louis for an entire season. With Brendan Ryan gone, the Cardinals need him to stick more than ever.
And at 27, Greene is running out of time to make an impression. He’ll have plenty of chances this year as the Cards top utility option going into spring training. Greene enters 2011 as the backup shortstop, third baseman, and second baseman. All three infield positions have question marks surrounding them. If Ryan Theriot, David Freese, or Skip Schumaker don’t perform, Green will be the first name called to replace them.
To make the most of this opportunity, Green is playing winter ball, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In four games in the Dominican Winter League, Greene batted .364. He is now playing with Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League. In four games, he is hitting .200.
More important than the results, though, may be his attitude. Greene looks determined to become a key part of the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals. He has the skills — even being compared to Brendan Ryan defensively — to be a major league ballplayer.
All he needs is the chance to prove himself for an entire season.