The stove is lit in Milwaukee. The Brewers, now led by President of Baseball Operations David Stearns and newly-minted GM Matt Arnold, have now made two free agent signings in the last three days. On December 1st it was the deal for catcher Luke Maile — which is still pending a physical — and earlier today, the club announced the signing of Zach Green to a minor league pact that will include an invitation to big league Spring Training.
3B Zach Green has been signed to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League camp. pic.twitter.com/ClhGol4sb2— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) December 3, 2020
Green, who turns 27 next March, began his career as a 3rd round prep pick by the Phillies back in 2012. He has been a consistent source of both power and punchouts during his eight-year professional career, batting a cumulative .262/.331/.468 with 89 home runs in 570 games, but with a 27.5% strikeout rate versus a 7.7% walk rate. Green posted a .281/.356/.532 slash line in 450 plate appearances split between Double-A and Triple-A in 2018 before reaching minor league free agency for the first time, smashing 20 home runs in 114 games — though with a 28.7% strikeout rate. Still, he landed a deal with the Giants for 2019 and absolutely raked with Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League. Sure, the juiced ball was in play, but his .282/.380/.659 slash line across 297 plate appearances was still good for a 140 wRC+. He launched 25 dingers in 72 games, and even with a 33.3% strikeout rate, he earned a midseason call-up to the big leagues with San Francisco. He wound up appearing in eight games and collected two hits, including a double, in 16 plate appearances.
Green was outrighted by the Giants after the conclusion of the 2019 season but immediately re-signed to a minor league pact, and he spent the 2020 season as a part of their 60-man player pool but did not see any big league action. He comes to the Brewers with 38 days of service time and all three minor league options remaining, according to Fangraphs.
Green has dealt with some injuries throughout his career, including needing an orthotic insert shortly after he was drafted once it was discovered one of his legs was actually longer than the other. He’s also underwent hip surgery twice, including at the end of 2019, as well as procedures on his wrist and elbow. Still, the scouts from Fangraphs wrote in 2019 that “Green was a minor league free agent who had an average exit velo of about 95 mph through this season’s first month. He has plus-plus power and barely hits the ball on the ground (25% GB%).”
Green has played primarily third base during his time in the professional ranks, with 269 appearances at the position in the minors and five in the big leagues. He’s also experienced at first base, where he’s played 185 games. Those happen to be two positions where the Brewers are lacking depth, both in the upper minors and at the MLB level. Green does not receive a spot on the 40-man roster but he should have a chance to compete for some kind of a role in Spring Training, depending on the quality of players that the front office brings in during the offseason.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference