Valdosta Daily Times

June 7, 2011

Berrien’s Greene drafted 39th by Philadelphia

Adam MacDonald
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Larry Greene is used to wearing red and white. He wore those colors all throughout high school playing baseball for the Berrien Rebels.

It’s a good thing he’s used to red and white because the colors are going to be a big part of his future. Greene was selected 39th overall by the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday in the Major League Baseball amateur draft.

After being bypassed in the first round, Greene was the sixth selection in the compensation round. He was chosen just before 10:30 p.m.

Greene, a left-handed slugging outfielder, was on hand at the draft in Secaucus, N.J. Wearing a brown suit, he placed a Phillies hat on his head and held a Phillies jersey while hugging his father, Larry, Sr.

“I really don’t know right now,” Greene said when he was asked what he was feeling while being interviewed on MLB Network. “It’s a blessing to play ball and I love the game.”

Greene had a highly productive career at Berrien. The Nashville native started all four years for the Rebels and became a force at the plate, blasting tape measure home runs that attracted pro and college scouts from all over.

This year he was closing in on the state’s home run record, but the Rebels were eliminated from the second round of the playoffs by Pierce County, cutting Greene’s attempt short.

Greene was hoping to be a first or second round pick. He signed a letter of intent with Chipola Community College earlier this year, but he said during season he was set to go in the draft.

The day finally came.

Greene shared a special moment with his father on stage when they hugged. His mother Denise passed away just after Christmas.

“It’s special,” Greene said. “We’re still missing my mom. I know she’s watching. She’s proud of us.”

When asked what it felt like to be joining a great team like the Phillies, Greene said he was glad they picked him and he’s ready.

Greene joins a growing list of Region 1-AA players to be selected high in the draft. Last year Cook’s Kaleb Cowart was picked 18th overall by the Los Angeles Angels and Brooks County’s Aaron Shipman was taken in the third round (92nd overall) by the Oakland Athletics.