James Tyler Greene
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 185 lb.
- School Georgia Institute of Technology
- High School St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Fort Lauderdale)
- Debut April 30, 2009
Greene was a top prospect out of high school. He hit .500 as a junior and .525 with 26 steals as a senior. Baseball America named him as a second-team All-American infielder alongside Sergio Santos aned Brandon Jones. The Atlanta Braves took him with the 65th pick of the 2002 amateur draft, right after they chose Brian McCann 64th overall. The second-rounder did not reach terms with Atlanta, though, and went on to college.
Greene was the highest-drafted player ever to enroll at Georgia Tech when he debuted. He hit .316/.391/.474 and stole 19 bases in 23 tries for the #17 team in NCAA Division I. He was named a second-team freshman All-American Baseball America, behind only Ryan Braun at shortstop.
Greene helped the US win Silver in the 2003 Pan American Games and hit one of the tournament's four homers (the others came from Jonathan Vega, Roberto Saucedo and Ariel Pestano). He hit .431 with 21 RBI in 65 games over the summer, finishing third on Team USA in RBI, 2 behind leader Jeff Larish, despite ranking only 9th in at-bats. He easily led the team in average, .109 ahead of runner-up Seth Smith. Among others he outhit were Dustin Pedroia. He played third base in the event as Pedroia manned short.
Greene slumped in 2004, batting .273/.371/.434 with 16 steals in 21 tries and 55 runs in 64 games. He had the lowest average of the team's starters, but Georgia Tech's lineup that year included Micah Owings, Brandon Boggs, Wes Hodges, Eric Patterson and Mike Nickeas. He did cut his error total from 31 to 11.
In 2005, Tyler hit .372/.460/.584 with 76 runs, 72 RBI, 4 grand slams and 31 steals while only being caught once in 61 games. He was second on Georgia Tech in average, behind Hodges and right ahead of Matt Wieters. He was a consensus choice as the All-American shortstop by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. The American Baseball Coaches Association picked Seth Johnston instead.
He made his pro debut that year with the New Jersey Cardinals, where he hit .261/.352/.370 with 13 stolen bases (in 14 tries) in 35 games before being promoted to the Palm Beach Cardinals, where he hit .271/.326/.388 with 2 homers and 6 stolen bases (never caught) in 20 games. Baseball America rated him as the #10 prospect in the New York-Penn League, between Jacob McGee and Gaby Sanchez. They also rated him the #3 Cardinals prospect.
He returned to Palm Beach in 2006 and hit .224/.308/.325 with 22 stolen bases in 25 tries before ending the season with the Swing of the Quad Cities, with whom he hit .287/.375/.552 with 15 home runs, 47 RBIs, and 11 steals (in 11 tries) in 59 games. He led Cardinals farmhands in steals and runs (80) but also in strikeouts (155).
Greene returned to Springfield in '08 and batted .259/.307/.449 with 16 homers in 97 games before being promoted to the Memphis Redbirds, where he hit .234/.325/.297 in 30 contests. Overall, he swiped 20 bases in 26 tries. Tyler hit .287 for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League.
Greene opened 2009 with the Redbirds. After 19 games, he was hitting .296/.412/.423. He was called up to the majors to replace Brendan Ryan when Ryan got injured, backing up similarly-named Khalil Greene at shortstop for the 2009 Cardinals. He debuted on April 30, going 1 for 5 with a steal, run and RBI from the #8 slot in the order. He struck out against Daniel Cabrera in his first at-bat and got his first hit off Julian Tavarez. He hit his first major league home run, off Dave Weathers, as a pinch hitter for Colby Rasmus against Cincinnati on May 8.
- 2003-2009 Baseball Almanacs
- 2009 Cardinals Media Guide
- Georgia Tech website