Posted: 3:35 pm Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
By Matt Porter
The fourth high school player from Palm Beach County – and the second player from Class 5A state champion West Boca Raton – selected in the 2011 MLB Draft is Tyler Greene.
Greene, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound shortstop, was selected 361st overall (11th round) by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Greene hit .383 with 5 HRs and 24 RBI for West Boca Raton, which won its first state championship.
A Georgia signee, Greene said he’s undecided on whether or not to turn pro, but he’ll welcome Phillies reps to his home next week.
“We’ll see what happens,” Greene said.
His brother, Chase, was drafted by the New York Mets in 2009 (16th round). A South Florida commit, he chose to sign with the Mets and played in 2010 for the Kinsgport (Tenn.) Mets of the rookie Appalachian League. He will play for the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Cyclones of the New York-Penn League.
Greene admitted he was a bit disappointed to go in the 11th round of the draft, after being rated in the top 75 prospects by many scouting services. To say he has been focused on being a big-leaguer would be an understatement.
When Jeff and Lorna Greene’s boys were young, the family moved from Maryland to play baseball year-round in Florida. Tyler grew up in Broward County and played for Parkland-Douglas until his sophomore year, when the family moved to West Boca Raton. The reason, he said, was West Boca’s success, and its budding ace Michael Kelly (who was chosen on the first night of the 2011 draft).
“After my freshman year, I just decided that I wanted to go somewhere where I could be seen more and win a state championship,” Greene said. “Hearing Mike Kelly’s name out there, and me and him being in the same showcases, I called him up after my sophomore year and made sure he wasn’t going anywhere.”
“We knew how good we were going to be senior year,” Greene said. “We wanted to get the scouts out and make it a place to go.”
Chase finished out his senior season at West Boca, while Tyler played as a sophomore. Then the dream took a detour. His father’s mortgage business took them to Georgia, so Tyler played for Roswell High. When the mortgage business went South, they moved back to West Boca, and Tyler refocused on winning a state title.
A home school student, Greene finished up most of his senior year credits before his fall senior semester began. He spent his days building up his speed, practicing with the Bulls, and spending time in the cage at night.
Greene was a preseason Baseball America All-American and was named to the Post’s All-Area first team. He was the starting shortstop and No. 3-hole hitter for West Boca’s state title team.
He’s thankful for his parents for trading the winters of Maryland for the baseball-friendly winters of Florida.
“My family moved down here for me and my brother’s dream to play professional baseball,” Greene said. We knew our dreams weren’t as high in Maryland.”
Those dreams are still high, and one step closer to realization.