Grant Green feeling at home at second base

Grant Green feeling at home at second base
February 22, 2013, 3:30 pm
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PHOENIX -- He has played shortstop, all three outfield positions, third base, and most recently second base. Has Grant Green finally found a home defensively?

The A's 2009 first-round pick out of USC has been moved all over the playing field in his professional career. It is believed his bat will play at the big league level, but he can't seem to stick anywhere.

Until now.

Green, 25, is drawing positive reviews for his work at second base. He started getting regular starts there toward the end of the 2012 season while in Triple-A Sacramento.

"It's nice to actually have a position and be able to focus on that one and only position," Green said. "It's still definitely a work in progress, though."

Green says he needs to get more comfortable turning double plays from the other side of the middle infield. The six-foot-three Southern California native had been a shortstop his entire life before the A's moved him to the outfield in 2011. Now back in the infield -- seemingly for good -- he is progressing defensively.

"He's been really impressive over there," A's third base coach Mike Gallego said. "He looks a lot more comfortable, he looks like he's enjoying it over there."

Gallego described Green's transformation to second base as "tremendous," He believes that half the battle of being a good infielder is being able to enjoy what you are doing. It makes sense. Once comfortable and confident at any job, you can start to do things instinctually and not over-think it.

"For a big tall guy, he moves fluently like a five-foot-five guy," Gallego said. "His feet are working for him really well, he's got quick hands, the only issue that he has at this point is that sometimes he tries to be too quick."

"If he can continue this progress I think he's found himself a new home," Gallego added.

That sentiment is reassuring to Green. Last season he played 19 games at second base, 19 at shortstop, 11 at third base, 49 in left field, and 30 in centerfield. Even with all the movement, his offense didn't suffer.

"Being bounced around like I was, it can only help me in the long run," Green said. "I hope now that I am able to focus mainly on second base, that I can get really good at that and hopefully get a call up, rather than being a super utility guy,"

Green hit .296 with 28 doubles, 15 home runs, and 75 RBI in 125 games with Triple-A Sacramento last season. He is a career .302 minor league hitter. His bat could make him a solid option at the second base position, where it's harder to find a player with some pop. After four seasons in the minors, Green is itching for a chance to compete at the big league level.

"I feel like I'm ready for it," Green said. "Everyone has always said my bat would play there, hopefully soon I get the chance to be able to see what I've got."

With second basemen Scott Sizemore and Jemile Weeks, and versatile infielders like Jed Lowrie and Adam Rosales in camp, it will be tough for Green to crack the 25-man roster out of spring training. If he keeps hitting and is able to continue honing his craft at second base, he could become a valuable piece to the A's puzzle. His versatility only makes him more valuable of an option.

"Hopefully they see that second base is coming along pretty well and that I can play the other positions if I have to," Green said. "Hopefully it's something that they see will help the team."