Entering the 2013 collegiate baseball season, Effingham alumni Chase and Chad Green had dreams of making a major step toward being drafted.
The story’s already partially unfolded. Chad emerged as one of the University of Louisville’s top pitchers, making the College World Series and being drafted by the Detroit Tigers. He’s been assigned to their low-A team in Grand Rapids, Mich., the West Michigan Whitecaps.
Chase, who already had the harder of the two roads as Chad had been drafted before, found a major pothole that he ran through from 2012 all the way to 2014.
Chase Green tore his labrum and dislocated his shoulder playing summer ball in New York in 2012, choosing to rehab the injury in hopes of playing the 2013 season. His summer ball season had been one of his best, showing skill at the plate he hadn’t in two years at SIU-Edwardsville.
The rehab wasn’t enough, as the injury re-occured six games into his junior season. He hit just .158 in the six games and didn’t draw a walk or have an extra-base hit before being shut down.
“I dislocated my shoulder and tore my labrum again, and it was bad enough where I needed surgery and it put me out for the year,” Chase Green said.
So Green lost his first whack at his junior year, but played few enough games where he was able to medically redshirt and still keep his two years of eligibility.
Through the lost season, the surgery and the rehab, the bat he showed back in the summer league in 2012 has shown through this season.
After the Cougars’ weekend series with Tennessee Tech, Green has hit .299 with an on-base percentage of .348 and a slugging percentage of .467. He has 12 doubles, two homers and 21 RBIs. All the rate stats are career highs, the doubles are a career-high already and his home run and RBI marks on pace to be career bests as well. He was named Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week last week for a standout series at Murray State.
Green said it’s been a mix of the lessons learned in his freshman and sophomore seasons where he played nearly everyday, as well as the lessons learned through his struggle.
“I think both,” he said. “I worked really hard to get where I’m at. Getting healthy obviously helps. Getting older and smarter, slowing the game down. It’s a product of all the hard work I’ve put in.”
He came to SIUE as a shortstop, but has played at second base throughout the first 25 games of the Cougars’ season. He doesn’t anticipate it being a permanent switch, but a way to get him in the lineup as his arm regains strength.
The Cougars entered Tuesday 10-15 before a night game with Evansville, and Green still has dreams of playing in the minors, joining his twin brother.
But the injury forced him to step back and evaluate the game, and he said he’s come out better for it.
“There’s always a chance (of getting drafted). That’s all you can really control,” he said. “You try to take as much positives as you can. That’s one of them. I lost a year, but I also gained a year. It’s another year I get to play baseball.
“Sometimes, you can take it for granted. You play because you love it, enjoying every day and not getting down on yourself. Playing, that’s really it.