SEE ALSO: Top 200 Draft Prospects
SEE ALSO: 2017 Draft Archive
Scouting reports on the Top 50 from Baseball America’s Top 100 Draft Prospects were compiled from countless conversations with scouts, coaches and front office officials.
Reports written by Hudson Belinsky, Kyle Glaser, J.J. Cooper, Michael Lananna and John Manuel.
|1||Hunter Greene||RHP/SS||Notre Dame HS, Sherman Oaks, Calif.||6/3||205||R/R||UCLA|
Greene is one of the most intriguing draft prospects of the past few decades. In a class loaded with legitimate two-way prospects, the UCLA recruit is the cream of the crop. He’s a smooth defender at shortstop with plus body control and glove actions to go with plus-plus arm strength. Greene is a below-average runner and possesses a physical 6-foot-4 frame, which lead to questions about his future position if he hits. Offensively, Greene’s calling card is his loud righthanded power; he was a regular home run derby participant and winner on the high school showcase circuit. His pure hitting ability is behind the rest of his tools, and he is still raw in terms of his timing and ability to barrel breaking pitches. Despite a first-round draft profile as a hitter, Greene is more likely to reach the majors as a righthanded pitcher. He has an exceptionally athletic delivery with an easy finish, and he pitched mostly at 95-99 throughout the spring of his senior season, with his fastball reaching as high as 102 mph for some scouts, while others had him topping out at 101. He was throwing both a slider and a curveball as a senior, with his slider figuring to be a bigger part of his future. Thrown in the low 80s, the pitch flashes slurvy tilt and earns above-average projections from scouts. He throws all four of his pitches for strikes. Greene has focused on pitching off his fastball and doesn’t have as many reps with his offspeed stuff as a result. He flashes feel for his changeup, which scouts feel comfortable projecting given Greene’s advanced command and athleticism. Greene has massive hands with thick fingers, elements that tend to predict quick changeup growth. Greene was a high-achieving student and scored a 31 on the ACT, a score that ranks among the top three percent of all students taking the test. In the winter prior to his senior spring, he organized a sock drive for the homeless, sending autographed cards of himself to fans who donated socks. Greene was a disciple of Alan Jaeger at seven years old and has specific training techniques that he’s reluctant to stray from at the next level. He long tosses prior to games and actively practices yoga to keep himself flexible and present. He also began training at MLB’s Urban Youth Academy when he was seven and learned from future Major Leaguers such as Aaron Hicks and Anthony Gose. Greene will be 17 at the time of the draft and won’t turn 18 until August. Greene stopped pitching roughly six weeks prior to the draft to protect his arm. He is a candidate to be the first ever high school righthanded pitcher to be selected with the first overall pick, and is unlikely to slip out of the top five on draft day.