Today we continue our Yankees Top-30 Prospects Countdown for the 2020 season with OF Ryder Green.
An original commitment to Vanderbilt, the Yankees drafted Ryder Green with the 97th pick in the 2018 MLB Draft and were able to keep him from college ball with a $997,500 signing bonus. Since joining professional ball he has spent a year each in the Gulf Coast and Appalachian Leagues, where he has shown a good overall game (even if the scouting grade doesn’t agree) on both offensive and defense.
(Screenshot From Pinstriped Prospects Video, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FucyXbBzf0)
Ryder Green, OF (#28):
Age/Date of Birth: 19 Years Old (05/05/2000)
2019 Team(s): Pulaski Yankees (Rookie Advanced)
2019 Statistics: .262/.343/.444 (0.787 OPS), 8 HR, 28 RBIs, 25 Walks, 67 Strikeouts (61 Games, 225 At-Bats)
Height/Weight: 6’0”/200 Pounds
Acquired: Drafted in the 3rd Round of the 2018 MLB Draft with the 97th Overall Pick by the New York Yankees
MLB ETA: 2023
Ryder Green Scouting Grades (20-80 Scale):
What to Know:
An expected 2nd or 3rd round pick and the 82nd ranked pre-draft prospect (according to MLB.com) the New York Yankees drafted Ryder Green with the 97th Overall Pick in the 3rd Round of the 2018 MLB Draft to an above-slot $997,500 signing bonus (the slot value was $576,400). This helped to entice the high-school standout Center Fielder out of a commitment to Vanderbilt. After signing, Green quickly found himself as the Yankees #16 prospect and was sent to the Gulf Coast Yankees East.
In his first season, showed why he was a valuable draft commodity as he showed above-average raw power due to his bat speed and strength as well as good baseball IQ with his understanding of the strike zone. While this didn’t show in his 37% strikeout rate, this was largely due to his wanting to sell out for power. This also led to an overindulged swing which often ended up as grounders to the left side of the infield. Even with this however, when approaching at-bats Green’s speed definitely helped him show that he wasn’t a one-dimensional “home run or bust” type hitter as he could still get comfortable hits on weaker contact. Unfortunately, this did drop Green at seasons end to the #22 prospect in the system.
His 2019 season brought about a change to his previously rigorous pregame routines as Ryder Green started to show improvements at the plate as he brought his strikeout rate to 26.8%, which helped to improve his numbers across the board. This new approach also helped to increased his fly-ball percentage as Green was no longer selling out for home run power, even though this did occasionally still occur. As he was on-base more often, this also was Green’s first showcase of his speed as he ranked Top-10 in both steals (10) and extra base hits (24) in the Appalachian League. This was a big increase from 2018 where he had only 3 steals and 7 XBH.
Overall, Green has the tools and ranks average or above at all of them (except pure hitting) but should be destined for a corner outfield position. While his 2018 season had him focus mainly on Center Field the move to Right Field in 2019 showed a much more comfortable player as he has the arm to play there long-term. (In High School he could reach up to 93 MPH.) However, as his game continues to progress, the Yankees keep adding top talent which keeps lowering his farm system ranking.
What Will the Future Hold?
Starting the season with Rookie Advanced Pulaski Yankees seems to be the most obvious landing spot for the young outfielder but a full season may not have been an expectation coming into Spring Training. While having more time to focus on the fundamentals of his game with the season in an indefinite suspension could lead to a faster promotion to Short Season (Class A) Staten Island, I think the implementation into game scenarios is what is more important for Green’s development, so a longer stint with Pulaski could be in the cards.
I’d expect Green to sit around the low-20s in terms of his farm system rankings with the Yankees at the end of the season. With a lot of talent at the top of the farm system, and many players not going to have the opportunity to break their own rookie statuses, big strides would need to be taken for Green’s ranking to increase much. A breakout 2021 looks to be more in the cards for Green’s future.