The 2017 MLB Draft begins on Monday. Every year, the weeks leading up to the Draft are filled with predictions, speculations, and evaluations of each Draft prospect. The Minnesota Twins are the owners of the No.1 overall choice, and we’ll have to wait until Monday to see who they choose.
This year, the Draft is packed with an unusual amount of two-way talent. That is, players that could be drafted as either a pitcher or position player. Perhaps the most exciting of these two-way players is Notre Dame HS pitcher Hunter Greene.
Ranked the No. 1 Draft prospect by MLB.com, Greene has a great chance at becoming the first high school right-handed pitcher to ever be picked first overall. Whether the Twins will take him with the first pick is still yet to be seen. However, wherever he lands, he will surely generate an immense amount of hype for years to come.
The 17-year-old out of California stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs in at 195 lbs. His athletic build helps his fastball reach triple digits, a range he consistently hit this year. Much like Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman, Greene does this with seemingly little effort. He has two breaking balls as well as a changeup that he mixes in on occasion.
For someone who throws as hard as he does, Greene has impressive control of the strike zone. He constantly paints the corners and rarely walks batters. Greene’s name has been thrown out there on more than one occasion as the best high school RHP ever. Obviously, that’s an extreme, but Greene certainly has the tools to back it up.
Had Greene not emerged as an elite-potential pitcher, he could have been drafted in the first round as an infielder. Playing predominately shortstop, Greene has quick hands and a ton of raw power. He could have easily started at shortstop for an MLB team in time, and at just 17 years old, it’s still not out of the question.
That being said, where things stand now, Greene is the top RHP pitching prospect in the Draft. He’s already appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the subheading, “Hunter Greene is the Star Baseball Needs.” They even went as far as calling him “baseball’s Lebron,” and “the new Babe.”
Hunter Greene has all the makings of a superstar, but let’s wait until he can legally vote before comparing him to the greatest baseball player of all-time. Greene has said that he will be attending the Draft, where he will hope to hear his name called as the first pick. If the Twins pass on him, the Cincinnati Reds, owners of the second pick, have already expressed interest in the right-hander.
The 2017 MLB Draft starts on Monday, June 12, and stretches until Wednesday, June 14. MLB Network and MLB.com will have complete coverage of the Draft throughout all three days.