Washington Nationals Non Roster Player Profile: Grant Green
By Ricky Keeler
Yesterday, the Washington Nationals signed Grant Green to a minor league deal with a spring training invite. Can Green be a spring training surprise?
The Washington Nationals invited another player to spring training yesterday as we are now 17 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting. That player was infielder Grant Green, who was drafted with the 13th pick in the 2009 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics.
Last season, Green was in the San Francisco Giants organization, but he only appeared in 18 Major League games. He hit .261 with one home run and seven RBI’s in 46 at-bats. He filled in from June 30-July 27 at second base while San Francisco’s regular starter, Joe Panik, was on the disabled list.
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Green did play all of his Major League games at second base in 2016, but he does have experience playing all over the diamond. In his four-year career with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Oakland A’s, and San Francisco, he has played five different positions (second base, first base, third base, shortstop, and left field).
Due to the signing of Stephen Drew on Thursday, the Washington Nationals have already their backup at second base to Daniel Murphy. But, even if Green doesn’t make the team out of spring training, he is a good option at triple-A in case someone gets hurt.
With the Sacramento River Cats, Green had a slash line of .319/.336/.454 with seven home runs and 52 RBI’s. The 29-year-old had a strong finish to his season as he hit .373 over the final 29 games. His 111 hits and 52 RBI’s were both second on the River Cats roster.
Yes, the Pacific Coast League is a hitters friendly league, but those are still strong numbers. In fact, he has been a career .313 hitter in five seasons at the triple-A level (according to Baseball Reference). Unfortunately, that hasn’t led to success at the Major League level.
While Green could start the season at triple-A Syracuse, he is a good player to have in case of injury. If Ryan Zimmerman goes on the disabled list and the Washington Nationals have to slide Daniel Murphy to first base, Green could be a good veteran backup to Drew. Plus, it gives Wilmer Difo more time in the minor leagues to play everyday at shortstop.
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So, while Green probably won’t play in many games with the Washington Nationals unless injury occurs, it is not a bad idea to take a flyer on someone for veteran depth at the upper levels of the minor leagues.