Look at Tyler Greene's Baseball-Reference page, and you are likely unimpressed. The next walk he draws (his 14th) will be a career-high in the majors. The 70 OPS+.
Then you go over to his minor-league stats, and you're likely more impressed. Particularly with his 66-game stint with Triple-A Memphis, where in 303 plate appearances, he posted an OPS of 1.001, hitting .323/.422/.579 - all of which are easily career highs. Greene had posted one season with an OPS over .850 - and that was in 2009, again with Memphis, hitting .291/.369/.482.
So what was so different about 2011? Other than that he was 27, and this was his fourth go-round at Triple-A?
Well, for one, for a guy with a career .286 BABIP, posting a .407 BABIP in those 66 games sure didn't hurt. But wait. He's routinely enjoyed a high BABIP - particularly in Triple-A, where from 2008-10 he had BABIPs of .342, .349, and .361, respectively.
In 49 games for St. Louis from April 2-June 17, 2011, Greene hit .198/.308/.267, good enough for 31 OPSPBJS (OPS Points Below Jordan Schafer), and he had five extra-base hits, and 31K in 117 plate appearances - all of which is sure to end up in a demotion for anybody.
In his first three series back at Memphis, he went 12x42 with two doubles and ten strikeouts. But then something clicked, I guess. Because for the rest of his 2011 Triple-A Memphis stint, starting on July 4, he went 72x212 (.340) with 33 XBH, and hitting seven homers in a two-week span in August.
What does it mean? Greene went on a tear, and couldn't replicate it in St. Louis. So with a 71 OPS+ for the Cardinals in 2012, he finds himself with a "Change of Scenery" trade.
As Derrick Goold quotes manager Mike Matheny in his piece on the trade for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
"I think we’ve seen it at times. It’s just the (lack of) consistency. There have been flashes of brilliance. Defensively, we’ve seen some plays to his glove side that not too many people would ever get to. We’ve seen power. We’ve seen speed. We’ve seen it all there...It’s the consistency. It’s not normally the talent."
A Cardinals fan tweeted at AC today (he's presumably a Cardinals fan - lots of shouting, and all. Clearly one of the best fans in America): chronic underachiever. raw talent, 10-cent head
We'll see. He'll get his fresh start, and with Jed Lowrie's seemingly unhealable injuries, he'll get pressure-free playing time. Maybe it'll turn into the consistency that has been expected of him, and maybe Jeff Luhnow will end up getting the most out of one of the first players he ever drafted.