IMG Academy has only had two first-round picks selected in the MLB Draft. This year alone they could have two in the top 20. Left-handed pitcher Jackson Ferris has opened some eyes as has his teammate, Elijah Green. The son of former NFL tight end Eric Green, Elijah looks like he could play football. However, his talent on the diamond is undeniable. Let’s take a look at the 18-year-old.
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Elijah Green, Outfielder, IMG Academy
Weight: 225 lbs.
2021 Stats: 25 G, .321/.449/.666, 6 HR, 10 SB
2022 Stats: 25 G, .462/.592/.1.000, 9 HR, 15 SB
Green is a man among boys, literally. His size makes him an anomaly when playing against other teenagers. As you can see from the scouting grades and the stats he put up, the centerfielder can do it all. He will likely go in the top 5, but will he go number one overall?
Green has a rare mix of plus power and elite speed. He hits the ball hard from line to line and has the strength to blast one out opposite field. The ball jumps off his bat and as he makes adjustments, he will not have to sell out for power. His speed not only helps him steal bases, but it also allows him to go gap to gap with ease when tracking down flyballs. Green is one of the fastest players in the draft, and that is something you can’t teach.
The 18-year-old has a strong arm, throwing in the mid-90s from the outfield. It is a weapon that is not common among centerfielders. He will certainly stick in the middle of the outfield and could take home a few Gold Gloves before he hangs them up.
The only knock on Green is the swing-and-miss in his game. He has improved this spring, but as he moves up through the minors, the higher velocity and better offspeed stuff could give him trouble. He has time to make adjustments and doesn’t have to sell out for power.
Pro Comparison: Starling Marte
While Green is a bit bigger than Marte, their talents are similar. Both have great speed and play an excellent defensive centerfield as Marte has won two Gold Gloves. Green will have some work to do to hit like the Mets outfielder, but the big prepster has more pop. Marte has slashed .288/.344/.450 with 133 home runs and 304 stolen bases so far in his 11 years in the big leagues. I’m sure Green, and the team that drafts him, would take that production.
Draft Prediction: Texas Rangers, Round 1, Pick 3
Despite the Rangers going with college players in the first round over the last four years, Texas selected prep players with 12 of their previous 15 first-round picks. They also have a lack of true outfielders in their system. Even at the major league level, the Rangers don’t have much in the outfield aside from Adolis Garcia.
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images