Hunter Greene is the top-ranked prospect in the 2017 MLB Draft class. The 17-year-old high school senior from Notre Dame High in Southern California has the chance to be the first prep right-hander taken No. 1 overall in the history of the Draft. As we approach the Draft (June 12-14
Hunter Greene is the top-ranked prospect in the 2017 MLB Draft class. The 17-year-old high school senior from Notre Dame High in Southern California has the chance to be the first prep right-hander taken No. 1 overall in the history of the Draft. As we approach the Draft (June 12-14 on MLB Network and MLB.com), we're running a four-part series on Greene.
There is no question there has been considerable buzz about Hunter Greene, the 17-year-old at the top of MLB Pipeline's Draft Top 200 prospects list, from his triple-digits fastball to his Sports Illustrated cover. What do others have to say about him? Surveying those who know him well, from coaches to teammates to teachers, the response, not surprisingly, has been overwhelmingly positive.
:: Introducing Hunter Greene ::
Tom Dill, Notre Dame High School coach, on Greene's velocity: "He's pretty effortless. I've seen guys who are throwing 100 mph, or even high-90s, you can tell he's throwing 100 because it looks like he's straining and he's overthrowing. You see all of that and you say, 'He's definitely throwing 100.' With Hunter, it's his throwing motion that's smooth. That's what all the scouts comment on. It's effortless. I think that's what they want. I think they want a guy who can do that without getting injured."
John Savage, UCLA coach, who got Greene to commit to UCLA in eighth grade: "I would draft him as a pitcher. There were some Doc Gooden similarities. I saw some in the load, the gather, the strength over the rubber, the separation, how Doc kind of finished. There were mannerisms that reminded me of Doc. We've seen a lot of him. I would take him as a pitcher. And he can hit, he can play short."
:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::
Justin Rorick, teammate and best friend, on what impresses him about Greene: "He's so humble and centered. ... He's very focused on what he has to do and he doesn't let distractions take him from what he needs to do on the field."
Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins and Notre Dame HS alum, on how Greene is handling the Draft process and how to deal with the attention: "I had way less clue than he did. He's getting a lot of knowledge and asking people what to expect. Everything hit me at once and I learned as I went. I would do it the way he's doing it if I could re-do it.
"It's not going to stop. I would say be ready to handle it both when you're doing well and not doing well, because you're going to have some bumps in the road. Get knocked down and come back up quick."
Nick Allen, Draft prospect and Team USA teammate, on facing Greene: "I faced him once. I think it was in the beginning of the summer last year, so I don't think he was up to where he is now. I only saw one or two pitches, fastball both times. I thought it was pretty straight, so it wasn't that hard to hit. Playing on the same team as him, I know he likes to go to the slider a lot. It gets on you, but we face speed all the time, so whether it's moving or not is the tough part of it. He definitely commands the zone and can spot up that fastball. He's a good pitcher and keeps his arm healthy. I thought he was a good teammate, kind of secludes himself sometimes, but I don't think he'll have any problems with that at all."
Dominic Smith, Mets prospect, on coaching Greene at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton: "I would go back and help the younger guys coming up, the younger kids who are really dedicated and focused. Hunter Greene was actually one of those kids. It was neat that I was able to be there and help him out along the way. As he got older, I was still around. I would come back and there wasn't that much I could teach him. He grew up and he learned his craft. I would just come out and support him. He came to visit a couple of weeks ago, we hung out a little bit. It's pretty neat to see what he's accomplished and what he's going to continue to accomplish."
Darrell Miller, MLB vice president of youth and facility development, on what makes Greene tick: "He's as unique a young man as I've ever seen. He's always been a bit of an old soul-- a throwback, if you will. He's always loved the game, but the thing I'm most astounded with, a lot of guys have talent, his focus is different and his discipline from what I've seen. That's a tribute to who he is and his engine inside. That's hard to find. That kind of inner drive and discipline, to do the right thing more often than not."
Joseph Lee, art teacher, on Greene's ability to handle things like being on the cover of Sports Illustrated: "He whispered that to me, and his friends overheard and they were very excited for him. I could've seen that a few years ago if he were just a freshman, he was tall and gawky and immature. I could see him losing his head then. These days, he's taking it in stride, which is really nice to see."
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.