Shortstop prospect Green primed to make mark
Former A's first-round pick wins MVP award at 2011 Futures Game
PHOENIX -- A quick peek at Grant Green's numbers one month into the 2011 season didn't exactly suggest a second straight selection to the XM All-Star Futures Game.
But the 23-year-old Green, one of Oakland's top prospects, has since progressed offensively and, as a result, was found preparing for that game on Sunday at Chase Field in Phoenix with a handful of family members in tow.
Less than five hours later, Green was named Most Valuable Player of the contest after going 2-for-2 with two doubles, an RBI, a run and a steal, while helping the U.S. Team to a 6-4 victory over the World Team.
"It's great being here again," he said. "Knowing the A's selected me to come again, even though I'm not having the best season, and that they still see me in high regards -- it's a good feeling."
Green is hitting .288 with just four home runs through 76 games with Double-A Midland, and while those numbers aren't overwhelming, considering he compiled a .318 average with 20 homers last year, it's worth considering the fact he struggled to hit .200 in his first month in the hitter-friendly Texas League.
"It's a new challenge, hitting in that league," he said. "It's difficult. I'm not used to the weather yet. Since I didn't have a very good start at first, I tried to go back to my college swing, stay inside balls and go the other way with it. I said, 'Forget the power numbers because I'd rather get my average up.'
"I'm happy getting doubles. It's the type of thing where I know I'm not going to be a 20-homer guy in Oakland. Not in that ballpark."
Green, a 2009 first-round Draft pick by the A's, used to put a time line on his journey to the Majors. Last year, he told himself he'd be in Midland by the middle of the season but, instead, finished with Class-A Stockton.
"You just can't let that get into your head," he said. "As long as I get to the big leagues, that's all that really matters. And I want to be the type of player that gets there and stays there. I don't want to go up for a bit and then wait a year in Sacramento before I get called back up."
The A's are seemingly ready for the future, as evidenced by Jemile Weeks' everyday presence at second base. Green, considered a possible long-term answer at shortstop if he can continue to improve defensively, hopes he's next in line to make a quick mark on the big stage.
"I was stoked for him, especially with all the injuries he's had," Green said of Weeks. "I think the people in the organization finally got to see what he's capable of when he stays healthy. Everyone knew it. And when he got called up, he made the best of the situation.
"Hopefully, I can do what he did, and we can play together. I'm looking forward to it. My time will come, and it will just depend on not only when I want it to but when they want it to."