After three minor league seasons, Phillies’ 2011 first-round draft pick Larry Greene, Jr. has apparently called it a career after not reporting to minor league camp in Clearwater, Florida.
However, the Philadelphia Daily News reported the Phillies weren’t ready to close the door on Greene just yet.
“I wouldn’t go on record with the retirement thing,” minor-league development director Joe Jordan told the paper. “Listen, I think a lot of Larry. He’s been with us. I’ve gotten to know him. If there’s anything I can do, I will. This is hard if you’re not 100-percent in. We’ll try to help him if he can and see if he still wants to play. But right now I don’t plan on him being here.”
Greene, 22, gave up a full-ride to play linebacker for Alabama in order to join the Phillies’ minor league system for a $1 million signing bonus.
He was rated the best power hitter in the Phillies’ system after the 2011 season by Baseball America, but Greene’s hitting fizzled after he left high school. In 70 games for low-A Williamsport in 2012, Greene hit two homers and batted .272 with 78 strikeouts. Those numbers dipped in 2013 when he hit .213 with four homers and 163 strikeouts in 111 games. Last season Greene slumped even further, batting just .183 with two homers and 60 strikeouts in 60 games for low-A Lakewood.
The Phillies haven’t had a first-round draft pick appear in more than 70 big league games since 2002 when they took a flier on lefty Cole Hamels. The 2002 draft was the last one run by former farm director Mike Arbuckle, who had a run where he selected Gavin Floyd, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell and Brett Myers in successive years.