Surgery to success: The story behind Shane Greene's breakout

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

There wasn't much hype about Shane Greene as he slowly made his way through the minor league ranks, and seemingly for good reason. He was a 15th-round pick, not a big-bonus guy. He didn't make any national prospect lists before or after the draft. His stuff didn't seem that great, including a changeup that was clearly a work in progress. And his minor league numbers were mediocre at best; in 562 career minor league innings, he had a 29-43 record, 4.39 ERA and 1.48 WHIP. That doesn't exactly scream "can't-miss prospect!"

But just look at him now.

He exploded on the scene by posting a winning record and a 3.78 ERA, with 81 K's in 78 2/3 innings, while making 14 starts for the New York Yankees in 2014, then jumped out to a hot start with the Detroit Tigers this season. He has had some bumps since, but still boasts a 1.19 WHIP. And his current stuff, including a big mid-90s sinker and two solid breaking pitches, makes one wonder how he slid under the radar.

But it's fair to ask: Is this 26-year-old right-hander the real deal? As is often the case, this one isn't just about what the numbers are showing, but rather the type of player/person Greene is. Even if the peripherals indicate the league will catch up to him, given the challenges Greene has overcome and the adjustments he has made already, it'd be tough to bet against this guy.