June 12, 1998
SOUTH BEND, Ind.- Notre Dame junior centerfielder Allen Greene (Seattle, Wash./Bishop O’Dea HS) has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees organization and will forego his senior season at Notre Dame. Greene, a ninth-round selection and the 277th overall pick, currently is with other Yankees prospects at extended spring training in Tampa, Fla. He has been assigned to the Oneonta Yankees of the New York-Penn League and is expected to report to Oneonta in the coming week.
Two other Notre Dame juniors were selected in last week’s draft but have yet to sign with their respective teams. Junior righthander Brad Lidge was drafted by the Houston Astros with the 17th overall pick, becoming the highest-drafted Irish player in 33 years, while the Toronto Blue Jays selected Irish catcher Jeff Wagner in the 50th round.
Greene–the 13th-highest drafted player in Notre Dame history–is the ninth Notre Dame draft pick to sign with professional baseball following his sophomore or junior year, since the inception of the draft in 1965 (prospective college draft picks currently must be 21 to be eligible for the draft).
Other Irish players to sign as junior draft picks during the 1990s include righthander Pat Leahy (’92, 6th round, Florida Marlins), shortstop Paul Failla (’94, 3rd round, California Angels), outfielder Ryan Topham (’95, 4th round, Chicago White Sox) and outfielder Scott Sollmann (’96, 7th round, Detroit Tigers) while sophomore righthander Christian Parker signed in ’96 as a fourth-round pick of the Montreal Expos.
Earlier Irish draft picks who signed prior to their senior season include sophomore catcher Ken Plesha (’65, 1st round, Chicago White Sox), junior righthander Nicholas Furlong (’69, 5th round, Cincinnati reds) and junior outfielder Dan Peltier (’89, 3rd round, Texas Rangers).
Lidge and Greene are just the second pair of Irish teammates to be selected in the first 10 rounds of the same draft, joining the 1996 duo of Parker and Sollmann in that distinction.
The switch-hitting Greene–a 52nd-round pick out of high school by the Toronto Blue Jays–finished fifth on the 1998 Irish baseball team with a .317 season batting average and tied for second with 53 runs as the leadoff hitter for much of the season. His seven home runs–five from the right side, two from the left–tied for fifth on the team while his 44 RBI ranked fourth. Greene’s other 1996 totals included 31 walks, 47 strikeouts, 12 stolen bases on 19 attempts and four errors on 119 fielding chances. He led the team in batting with runners in scoring position for the second consecutive season (.370).
See attached biography for further information on Greene’s career.