Hunter Greene, possible No. 1 pick in 2017 MLB draft, hits 100 mph in latest outing
The Minnesota Twins are on the clock
Hunter Greene, a right-hander at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, reportedly hit 100 mph in his latest outing Friday night. Greene is the early favorite to go first overall in the 2017 amateur draft.
Heard RHP/SS Hunter Greene of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame hit 100 mph tonight #MLBDraft— keithlaw (@keithlaw) February 4, 2017
Once upon a time it was extremely rare for a high school pitcher to reach triple-digits. It wasn't until 2001 that Colt Griffin, the ninth overall pick that year by the Royals, became the first prep pitcher recorded with a 100 mph fastball. These days it's still uncommon to see that velocity from a high schooler, but there's usually one every other year or so.
Greene, 17, is currently ranked as the No. 1 prospect for the 2017 draft class by MLB.com. It's important to note draft rankings are very fluid -- the high school season just started in some states and the college season is still a few weeks away -- and are subject to change. Here's a snippet of MLB.com's scouting report on Greene:
He features a live fastball that sits in the 94-96 mph range and can touch the upper-90s. Greene backs that up with a quality breaking ball that is really sharp. His changeup is his third pitch, but he has a feel for it. While Greene's command was average over the summer -- he can rush his delivery at times -- there's room for improvement, with his athleticism and a permanent move to the mound surely helping ... (He's) a top prospect on the mound, one with the work ethic and makeup to excel once he focuses full-time on his craft.
Greene also plays shortstop at Notre Dame and he is a legitimate prospect as a position player as well, though the consensus among the scouting community is that he has far more potential on the mound. Here's some video of Greene in action:
The Minnesota Twins currently hold the first overall pick in the 2017 draft after going 59-103 last season. No other team lost more than 94 games in 2016. The Twins have had the top selection twice before, in 1983 (Tim Belcher) and 2001 (Joe Mauer). Here is the full 2017 draft order.
It's worth noting no high school right-hander has ever been selection first overall in baseball's amateur draft. Not one, and the draft has been around since 1965. Several prep righties have been selected second overall, most recently current Marlins farmhand Tyler Kolek in 2014, who was another high schooler who hit 100 mph. Josh Beckett is the most notable prep righty to be selected second overall.
Notre Dame High School has produced one first round pick: shortstop Tim Foli, who the Mets selected first overall in 1968. Foli played 16 years in the big leagues, though he was never an All-Star and never won a major award. Giancarlo Stanton and 1993 AL Cy Young award winner Jack McDowell are also Notre Dame High School alum.
The 2017 draft is still a very long way away -- the draft will take place from June 12-14 this year -- and like I said earlier, the landscape is subject to change between now and then. Other players could emerge this spring and become the favorite to go first overall. For now, Greene is the top prospect in the draft class, and he got his season off to a great start Friday night.
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