2017 MLB Draft Grades: Cincinnati Reds
Best Pure Hitter: SS Jeter Downs (1s) catches up to good fastballs, stays balanced at the plate, uses the whole field and smirks at sliders in the dirt like a three-year-old looking at brussel sprouts. Scouts are pretty confident that he will be an above-average hitter.
Best Power Hitter: RHP Hunter Greene(1) will put away his bat and focus on pitching full-time, but if he had remained a position player he had some of the best power in the class as scouts saw 30-plus home run potential thanks to his near top of the scale raw power.
Fastest Runner: OF Stuart Fairchild (2) is a plus runner who turns in times of 4.1 seconds from home to first. Best Defensive Player: Fairchild’s speed plays well in the outfield. He’s projected as an above-average to plus defender in center field.
Best Fastball: Greene has one of the best fastballs in draft history. He touched 102 mph in his first pro outing and sat 97-100 mph during the high school season. His delivery is clean and easy.
Best Secondary Pitch: LHP Jacob Heatherly (3) has a plus 77-82 mph curveball with 12-to-6 downer action.
Best Pro Debut: Fairchild hit .304/.393/.412 for Rookie-level Billings. Downs’ season was not as impressive statistically, but considering he was fresh out of high school, the shortstop’s .267/.370/.424 season was equally impressive.
Best Athlete: Greene was a first-round talent as a shortstop as well. His only lacking tool is his foot speed. Fairchild is an impressive athlete with plenty of speed and burst.
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Most Intriguing Background: Greene’s father is a high-powered Los Angeles private investigator who has worked with A-level Hollywood stars. RHP Tyler Buffet (6) is cousins with famed billionaire Warren Buffet. RHP Mac Sceroler (5) counts among his uncles ex-big league RHPs Brett Laxton and Ben McDonald, the No. 1 overall pick in 1989.
Closest To The Majors: Greene should move fast for a high school pitcher thanks to his fastball and his consistent delivery.
Best Late-Round Pick: RHP John Ghyzel (18) is a promising reliever with a 94-97 mph fastball and a useful slider.
The One Who Got Away: The Reds would have loved to have signed RHP Tommy Mace (12). Instead he’ll head to Florida where he has a good chance to blossom into a top three round pick in a few years.