SEE ALSO: High School Top 100 List
The 2017 draft is still more than six months away, meaning that there’s plenty of time for players to change and for their standing in the class to change as a result. Still, halfway through this year’s draft process, the group of players at the top has begun to take shape. What follows is a preseason breakdown of the 2017 high school class. We’ll devote more attention to the top of the class and nitpick some of the top players, with the acknowledgement that their positives far outweigh their negatives.
At the top of the class is Hunter Greene, a unique two-way talent who headlines a loaded year in Southern California. If you’re interested in the human interest side of Greene, read this.
Greene, a UCLA signee, is more polished as a pitcher. The righthander has shown premium fastball velocity, reaching as high as 98 mph. The pitch also shows late life, exploding through the strike zone with late finish that makes Greene almost impossible to square up. Greene’s combination of fastball velocity and movement could allow him to both miss bats and generate poor contact.
His offspeed arsenal shows significant promise as well. Greene throws a hard breaking ball that has reached into the low 80s. At its best, Greene's slider plays as a plus pitch, with hard and late break with 11-to-5 or 10-to-4 shape and no clear breaking point. At other times, however, his slider will back up and lack its powerful sweep. Green has shown flashes with his mid-80s changeup, which shows fade and tumble and projects as at least an average pitch.