Elijah Green, a 6’4’’, 225-pound, right-handed hitting outfielder was ranked by MLB Pipeline’s scouts as the No. 3 prospect for the 2022 First-Year Player Draft, but the son of former NFL Pro Bowl tight end Eric Green, was still available at No. 5, and the Washington Nationals got him, and added him to the organization after he went 36 for 78 (.462 AVG) with 11 doubles, nine home runs, 15 stolen bases, 21 walks, 21 strikeouts, and 40 runs scored as a senior at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida this season.
Hearing his name called, and by the Nationals, meant a lot to the young outfielder, who was described by MLB Pipeline’s scouts as, “a right-handed hitter ... capable of doing just about everything very well.”
“It was definitely truly a blessing, because all my life I’ve been working for this goal, this has always been one of my goals in my life,” Green told reporters on a Zoom call shortly after he was selected, “and to be called by the Washington Nationals is truly a blessing. I’m going to go up there, work hard, and just try to bring a championship back to Washington.”
Green said he was looking at all the teams he might land with, but he was real excited about being selected by the Nationals, given the history with top prospects in the organization.
“The past of them having prospects like Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, Juan Soto, all of them,” he explained. “I feel like it just shows that they know what they’re doing with their players, and I just feel like I can be one of those players and make it to MLB soon.”
In reality though, the road to the majors for an 18-year-old high school hitter can be a long one, but Green said he was aware of what it takes, and ready for the challenge.
“I know baseball is a grind,” he said, “so I’m always going to be patient with it. I’m just going to keep my head down, work hard every day, and whenever I get my time, I get my time.”
How did the Nationals’ newest prospect describe himself when that evergreen draft night question came up in his Zoom call?
“I would describe myself as a competitive guy, always wants to win, professional. Always doing the right thing on the field. Going to be a leader. A guy who is always going to bring everybody up in the group, and everybody is going to gravitate towards me, so I’m that type of guy.”
His own assessment of himself as a hitter, matched what MLB Pipeline’s scouts said about him, as someone who can hit for power, and make contact, though most scouting reports do mention a propensity to swing and miss, even at the high school/prep level.
“Very loud contact and has proven he can drive the ball to all fields and hit the ball out of the park just about anywhere with at least plus raw power,” MLB’s scouts wrote.
“I think I can do a little bit of both,” Green said when asked about hitting for contact versus power, “... but I always have my times where I don’t hit home runs, I hit doubles and all that, but there’s always times when I hit home runs. I feel like I’m a little bit of both.”
“I think I’m most confident in my hitting, for sure,” he said at another point, while adding he knows, “you can always improve to perfect your craft every single day in anything.”