Hunter Greene: 2017 Draft Scouting Report Doug Gray May 5, 2017 47 Comments Hunter Greene is ranked as the #1 player in the draft by both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline as I type this. He’s been ranked at the top of both places since the beginning of the year and not much has been done by anyone else to change that. As a high school right handed pitcher, Hunter Greene is looking at never-before territory. There has never been a high school right handed pitcher ever taken #1 overall in the draft. Three lefties have gone #1 overall from the high school ranks (David Clyde – 1973, Brien Taylor – 1991, Brady Aiken – 2014). The 2017 season has been rather interesting for Hunter Greene. He’s pitched well, posting a 0.75 ERA in 28.0 innings pitched. In that span he’ed walked just four batters and has 43 strikeouts. However, he’s only made five starts this spring and may not make another. He’s not injured, but is possibly protecting his arm from the risk of injury before signing a professional contract. What he has done, though, is throw bullpen sessions for teams to keep giving them looks when needed. 102 MPH. That’s the big thing that everyone thinks about with Hunter Greene. He’s reached elite levels with his fastball velocity. He doesn’t sit anywhere near 102 MPH, but when you show it once, it’s there. Hunter Greene Scouting Report Fastball | While he’s topped out as high as 102 MPH, he generally sits between 93-97 MPH with the pitch. It features some armside action, especially at the 93-95 MPH range. Curveball | This pitch has been a bit controversial recently. Jim Callis of MLB.com had this in a recent article about Hunter Greene: Some scouts rate his curveball as well below average and think he’ll have to scrap it in favor of a slider, while others grade both offerings as fringy, but with the potential to become plus. If you’ve watched plenty of video on Hunter Greene, you can see where both sides are coming from. If nothing else, right now, his curveball is very inconsistent. Depending on when you see him, you could come away with very different opinions on his breaking ball. Change Up | The pitch doesn’t get used as often as the other two pitches, but it shows promise. It’s got nice armside run and some sink to it. Overall Thoughts If Hunter Greene weren’t such a strong pitching prospect there’s a chance he’d be a 1st rounder as a shortstop. He’s incredibly athletic, which gives him an advantage over most other pitchers in this draft. When you think about the kind of player who could go in the top one or two picks in the draft, you think about a guy like Hunter Greene. For pitchers, the carrying tool is you want over any other is the big fastball. He’s got the biggest fastball in the draft. It’s a pitch you can dream on just dominating hitters. There are a few concerns though, too. Shutting things down is unheard of. That may not sit well with everyone. The concerns about the breaking ball are real, though it’s generally easier to teach a breaking ball than a change up, and he’s at least showing a good breaking ball at times. Compared to the college pitchers, and even a few of the other 1st round high school pitchers, he’s not quite as polished. As a high schooler, he’s going to be more of a long-term option than someone that will move quickly from the college ranks. In itself, that’s not a concern, but that could come into play depending on how a front office wants to build on their future. At the top of the draft, you want a guy who could become a superstar. Hunter Greene comes with some risk, no doubt, but he’s also a guy who has the look of someone who could be a superstar. If he’s there for the Cincinnati Reds at #2 in the draft and is selected, it would get my approval. For other 2017 Draft Scouting Report profiles, click here. 47 Responses kevin zook May 5, 2017 taking a arm to risky at 2 I think for reds.. can’t afford to miss.. our reds haven’t shown me can develop pitchers at a high rate.. this only my opinion take bat at 2, if have to take pitchers at both 30 spots Doug Gray May 5, 2017 While arms are certainly more risky, it’s not like bats don’t flop out, even high in the draft. In 2007 there were three position guys taken in the Top 5 picks: Mike Moustakas, Josh Vitters and Matt Wieters. Moustakas has been a good hitter once in his career – 2015. Matt Wieters has been good for a catcher, but isn’t exactly a game changer, either. Then there’s Josh Vitters, who made the Majors, but it didn’t exactly work out for him with a 36 plate appearances. In 2008 there were four position players taken in the Top 5: Tim Beckham, Pedro Alvarez, Eric Hosmer and Buster Posey. One superstar, two guys who haven’t been average big leaguers for their careers and Eric Hosmer who has been solid for a first baseman a few times, and really bad a few times, too. In 2009 Dustin Ackley, Donavan Tate and Tony Sanchez went 2-3-4 in the draft. One guy never made the Majors (and is now 25-years-old and playing in A-ball). The other two are Major Leagues with OPS’s under .700 In 2010 you had Bryce Harper and Manny Machado go 1 and 3. But at #4 is Christian Colon. He’s 28 now with a grand total of 348 plate appearances in the Majors and a .652 OPS. In 2011 the only position guy taken in the Top 5 was Bubba Starling. He’s only 24, so it’s still a tad early to call it a day on him, but he hit .183 in AA/AAA last season and is hitting .139 in AAA this season. Lots of “misses” in there. While I always say if you get a guy who turns into an everyday player, you did a good job, and some of those guys did turn into those even if they weren’t good everyday players – I’d imagine most would say if you wound up with Mike Moustakas production out of the #2 pick, it’s not at all what you were expecting. kevin zook May 5, 2017 Yea I agree with you to a point, takes great scouting, in most them years, teams missed high up in draft.. that left more elite players slide in the draft out of top 5 or 10 on down.. with bad choices or scouting.. Great scouting will have our reds make right pick, not all our top 5, top 10 list, that we think are the best Wes May 5, 2017 So your expecting the reds to have a level of scouting that’s unheard of and has never happened before? There is no Griffey or Harper this draft. So what your saying is that you expect them to draft a trout or seagar at 2 even though that’s never happened before? Regardless of when they are drafted there’s only going to be 2 guys who rank in top 30 prospects in all of baseball. Why run an unconscious risk and not take one of those 2? Greenfield Red May 5, 2017 I agree with this Wes. It should be Greene if available. Then, a little more reluctantly McKay. If no Greene, I wouldn’t mind one of the hitters (Lewis, Beck, ect.) It might be a good time to point out that I wanted the Reds to lose more games last year. If they had the number one pick, there would not be nearly as much conversation. By the way, I’m in that camp (wanting the Reds to lose) this year too. By next year, they should be winning. kevin zook May 5, 2017 I expect good scouting that’s it.. The good teams, usually pick lower than our reds and get a better player.. Hope reds don’t use your mind set, they will keep stinking that way lol… Doug Gray May 5, 2017 Usually? Kevin, go back to 2006, when Chris Buckley took over the drafting for the Reds, and find me the organization that’s done better in the 1st round in terms of not truly missing. I doubt you can find a single team. Where the Reds have “missed” in that time is that they haven’t drafted a superstar. But they’ve landed multiple all-stars (Mesoraco, Frazier, Boxberger) and every day players (Stubbs, Leake, Alonso, Grandal), consistently. That doesn’t include guys like Michael Lorenzen where I’m just not sure where to toss him in just yet, but it’s hard to say he hasn’t been All-Star caliber out of the bullpen, or top 100 caliber prospects like Winker and Stephenson, who have reached the Majors – although are not established. kevin zook May 6, 2017 I agree doug did hit on more than some others.. none of them players mentioned moved the needle up at all, like most teams even if hit on less players it that time frame than the reds Gaffer May 5, 2017 You can’t say that because guys didn’t pan out it was bad scouting. There is no way to predict MLB success 5 years out all the time but the scouting can be accurate. Bad decisions are a different thing. Example, Drew Stubbs was scouted as a below average hit tool with 33 percent K rate. That was accurate but we took him. Mike Leake was scouted as a low ceiling, high floor pitcher vs. Kershaw who was high ceiling but as a high schooler more risky. That was a choice, one I hope the Reds consider as Leake got them a starter but not one that had any value in the post season. The Duke May 5, 2017 Drew Stubbs struck out in 21.9% of his collegiate plate appearances (206 K in 937 PA), not 33%. Part of why I want no part of Jeren Kendall who has struck out in 23.8% of his collegiate plate appearances (174 K in 730 PA). We have lots of guys who can maybe fill those 2-3-4 rotation spots, we need to take a risk on a kid who can maybe be a real #1 if we get the chance. Wes May 5, 2017 Huh? In 2012 is the only 1st round I can find where 1/2 the 1st rounders panned out. And in the middle of that round we took Travieso over seager wacha stroman giolito. that wasn’t terrible scouting? Kershaw trout bumgardner are 3 of best players in all of baseball. Don’t think many scouts were saying that prior to them being drafted or they would have went first vs being passed on for players w inferior talent. There might be a high school bat who’s going to be a superstar in this draft but just because we get first shot at picking him doesn’t mean he’s going to be a red and history says we will most certainly miss. I think the science of scouting is terrible. Way too inconsistent. Doug Gray May 5, 2017 For the record, Drew Stubbs still has the 6th most WAR in the 2006 1st round. He was a good pick. He wasn’t the best pick, but he’s outperformed his draft spot in that particular draft. He’s the 2nd most valuable hitter in that 1st round behind Evan Longoria, who was drafted before Stubbs was. Ryan May 5, 2017 Why does MLB pipeline grade Greene as having a 55 slider if he isn’t even throwing a slider? They don’t even have a grade for a curveball. The Duke May 5, 2017 He throws both, but neither one consistently. Sometimes they blend together a bit. Whatever breaking ball he ends up with will be raw, but he has shown the ability to spin it well. He’s only thrown 28 IP this spring, but in that 28 IP there is video online of him throwing a good breaking ball. I tend to agree the curve will get scrapped and he’ll be a fastball/slider/changeup pitcher, which is what it sounds like MLB Pipeline thinks too. There’s quite a bit of video you can find on Hunter Greene from this spring that you can find on YouTube and Twitter. Doug Gray May 5, 2017 What The Duke said…. his breaking ball, whatever it is that you want to call it, is sort of a slurve kind of pitch. Depending on where you go, you’ll see it referred to as a curveball, or a slider – and some places say he’s throwing both pitches. The Duke May 5, 2017 I was listening to the Baseball America Draft Top 200 Podcast last night/this morning, and there was a little comment in there about Hunter Greene that makes it sound like the Reds are as high on Greene as anyone, if not higher as they did say there are some scouting directors who prefer Mackenzie Gore over Greene. The thing about Hunter Greene’s fastball isn’t that it is just good velocity as he usually sits in the 95-97 range this spring, it’s also got movement on it. It’s not a straight pitch. Greene likely takes 3 full years in the minors to get to the bigs at a minimum, but he also is one of the best shots to become a true ace in this draft. That’s a risk worth taking for the Reds if he is there in my opinion. Wes May 5, 2017 Totally fair assessment and thank you for pointing out the risk w Greene. I’m thrilled if he falls to reds but I still prefer McCay over him due to risk factor. fromcubawithluv May 5, 2017 McKay could be a better pick in certain circumstances. If we had less depth and serious high end possible #1 guys already in the system, I think he is a better pick. However, we are super heavy on depth and no clear #1 starter type guy. To pick a floor guy may end up giving us marginal value as a major league average pitcher over the 5 other guys that could provide nearly the same thing already in the system. I think it’s a no brainer. We swing for the fences if Greene is there at 2. If he flops, the effect will not be much different than if McKay becomes league average. This is the perfect time to take the risk. IMO Greenfield Red May 5, 2017 I agree Cuba. The Reds lack high end guys. Imagine adding Greene and Luis Robert in the next 45 days. Problem solved. Wes May 5, 2017 I agree w Cuba too but we pick 2nd. Extremely unlikely we pick between Greene and McCay. We will pick between whoever twins don’t take and whoever else is high on our board. And if it’s McCay vs rest of class- take the forsure thing vs rolling the dice on a non concinsous player like a high school bat terry m May 5, 2017 I think Wright is becoming VERY interesting. Gore is not as big as Bukaukas ! The Duke May 5, 2017 Perfect Game and MLB Pipeline list Gore at 6’2″, Baseball America lists him at 6’1″. North Carolina lists Bukauskas at 6’0″, but 5’11” is more accurate. Bukauskas is short, not small, he’s a solid 200 lbs. Kind of like Cueto before Cueto got pudgy. Gore is still pretty skinny, but he’s also still 17. I believe in his stuff, but he’s throwing a ton of sliders (something like 45% of his pitches) and he is wearing down a little as the college season goes on. Not holding his velo quite as deep into starts now. Wright’s inconsistency at the collegiate level worries me, but he has the frame and raw stuff. Just a lower floor than most college arms taken that high. terry m May 5, 2017 Have seen publications which have them both at 6’1″ but a big difference in weight. I call that smaller. As for future height will see. My point if Buk size was an issue with some so should Gore That’s all. Wright last few starts have been good. Trending the right direction. Doug Gray May 5, 2017 Terry – height for lefties (Gore) isn’t as much of an issue as it is for righties. Now, we can talk about why that doesn’t make sense all day long, but when it comes to scouting, short lefties don’t have the same stigma as short righties. Simon Cowell May 5, 2017 I pass on this guy. He hits 102 mph. That is all he has going for him. Shutting? him down now only raises that big red flag. If all he has is a solid fastball then why did we let Jumbo go? The Duke May 5, 2017 Because he has shown he can spin a breaking ball, just that it will need work. His changeup is already pretty good, especially for a high school pitcher. He’s a plus plus athlete and his fastball has movement and command. terry m May 5, 2017 I’m with Simon getting a little nervous with Greene. Have read conflicting info on his curve and that he very seldom throws a change up. The fact that we only have 28 innings to look at this year makes it even harder to evaluate. Then add in the fact that he will not pitch again this year also. Doug Gray May 5, 2017 Terry, “We” only have 28 innings to look at. But, he also pitched in multiple national all-star type games over the last year, and he’s throwing bullpen sessions for teams, too. They have seen more than 28 innings, even if we haven’t. I do agree that the whole shutting him down thing is weird. But, he’s still throwing for teams, just not in games. And if he’s doing that and showing the stuff, then there’s no reason to be concerned he’s trying to hide an injury. Arnold Ziffle May 5, 2017 It is a little over five weeks before the draft. College conference tournaments will begin in a couple of weeks and then the CWS regionals. The college players will be facing better competition as the weeks unfold. Monitor their results closely in these closing weeks. The Twins most likely are taking Greene at #1. So what will the Reds do? The answer is probably in North Carolina. But will it be Gore, Bukauskas, or Kemp? DanD May 5, 2017 Don’t forget Brice is also in NC Arnold Ziffle May 5, 2017 It is Austin Beck. I don’t know why I typed Kemp. That is on me. My bad. His team starts NC high school tourney regional play this week. Kemp? What was I thinkin’? DanD May 5, 2017 My bad as well, with Brice being called up I had him on my mind. DanD May 5, 2017 Any updates on how Austin Brice is doing? The Reds could use both him and Robert in the system. If the Reds were to sign Robert before the draft would that mean they would go after the best pitcher at #2 or would you still see the Reds going after a bat? Greenfield Red May 5, 2017 My opinion is that if they sign Robert, it will affect their thinking on the #2. If they get him, I think it will be whichever of Greene or McKay the Twins don’t take. Arnold Ziffle May 5, 2017 UNC has an off weekend this weekend. No games for Bukauskas and Warmoth. Next Friday UNC plays away at Virginia Tech. Bukauskas will have 2 weeks in between starts, so that will be an interesting game to keep tabs on. Rest vs. rust. How will he fare? UL is at Notre Dame this weekend and McKay pitches tonight. UF is home to Ole Miss and Faedo pitches tonight. Vandy plays host to Missouri with Wright going for Vandy and Houck for Mizzou tonight, plus Kendall is playing. Kap May 5, 2017 Will be interesting to see Doug’s college player update on monday after all the action this weekend. Besides Bukauskas, I’m interested to see how the rest of Wright’s season pans outs. kevin zook May 5, 2017 Hope take the hitter first no matter what, deep in college pitching get that in the 30’s.. Either way who ever take, will be rooting for them have to if drafted by reds lol.. Beck, lewis, haselay , smith should be considered terry m May 5, 2017 Doug; In ans to both of your comments directed to me. With respect to Gore all I said he was smaller than Buk. Your comment was that height isn’t as much as an issue when compared to right handers’ Ok then you then said it is with respect to stamina. I go bac to my premise He is smaller than Buk and if you question size with Buk. you need to apply that to Gore. That is all I said. With respect to Greene. I have read lots of articles and I do not find anybody that he has a plus breaking ball and that he rarely threw a change up so how can you then evaluate his change up ? I also think this stance that he would prefer to go with Minny or SD kind of turns me off. I think the real reason for this is that Miny and SD are pitchers parks. I’m just nervous because this is a very important draft for the Reds and they can’t mess this up.. I hope whoever they take works out great. Things are looking up and we may never draft this high for a while Doug Gray May 5, 2017 I’m not disagreeing at all with the size/height thing. I’m just saying that for lefties, scouts and teams seem to care much less about it when a guy is left handed than when they are right handed. I’ve never really understood why that is, because it doesn’t make an ounce of sense to me. You want pitchers with size because of the downhill plane and the stamina. How wouldn’t that apply to both? With Greene – I quoted in this article where someone said his breaking ball could become plus. As for the change up, I’ve seen video of it in games from last summer. Scouts have seen it this year, though not as much in games. But, that can be said for nearly every high school pitcher on the planet. You just don’t see change ups in high school from guys that can truly throw hard (88+) because with that velocity, and a breaking ball of any kind, you can usually just dominate. Where Greene has shown the change up this year is in the bullpen before games, or in his bullpen sessions for teams since he “shut it down” in games. The Duke May 5, 2017 In an effort to ramp up my nerd card to the next level, here is a 2 round mock draft I created on Draft Site. I put a surprisingly large amount of thought into this. I tried to take a blend of the rankings plus some lower ranked guys I liked and tried to mesh with upside, what teams strengths currently are, balancing the draft except in a few cases where I purposefully went heavy. Anyway, for anyone interested, here it is: http://www.draftsite.com/mydraftsite/The_Duke/mlb/mock-draft/2017/ Doug Gray May 5, 2017 terry m May 5, 2017 Now that’s Funny Arnold Ziffle May 5, 2017 Not bad. Not bad at all. I might even go with Rooker at #32. He plays more 1B at MSU, but 17-21 in SB’s suggests he has the athleticism to be a full time OF. Vientos is a good bat, but if you are looking at him as a SS, I think he is more of a 3B now and projected to be in the pros. That is OK though. If you are looking at him as a 2B, then disregard my suggestion for round 3. If you go 3 rounds, give the Reds UH’s 2B Jake Scheiner. That will get the Reds 3 good, solid bats and a dynamite SP in their first 3 rounds. All four of these would be a great start for Billing’s roster. The Duke May 5, 2017 I’ve seen Rooker run, I have little doubt he could handle LF. Might be able to handle RF as his arm isn’t terrible. You can’t control the positions on draft site, Vientos is a 3B or RF, and he’ll be drafted high for his bat. Very impressed when I saw him hit at NHSI which streamed one of his games online. Arnold Ziffle May 5, 2017 We need more good bats. That is why I like Scheiner too. Sly dog you. Getting 2 corner OF’s with pick 2 and pick 3. You thinking Reds are out on Robert? DraftAdell May 5, 2017 Jo Adell will be the star of this draft. EricDavis 2.0 Doug Gray May 5, 2017 Let’s not get carried away. Eric Davis was far more athletic than Adell is. That’s not a knock on Adell at all. Eric Davis was one of the most athletic players ever. He’s a guy who stole 80 bases one year, then hit 37 homers the next year in 129 games played. People just don’t do things like that. In fact, since 1915 there have only been nine players to ever steal 80 bases. No one else who has ever stolen 80 bases has hit more than 28 home runs (Rickey Henderson). Only Lou Brock even topped 18 among the rest of the group.