Reds take star HS RHP Greene at No. 2

June 12th, 2017

CINCINNATI -- Pitcher Hunter Greene was arguably the best prospect available in the 2017 Draft, and with the No. 2 overall selection Monday, the Reds selected him out of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Ranked by as the No. 1 Draft prospect in the class, the right-handed Greene has a fastball that has shown 102 mph on the radar gun. He is already a national phenomenon, and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated earlier this spring.

:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::

"I spent the last couple of months worrying that we weren't picking high enough to get him," Reds general manager Dick Williams said. "I'm really thrilled that we were able to get him at No. 2."

• Reds' 32nd overall: Jeter Downs

• Reds' 38th overall: Stuart Fairchild

Greene attended the Draft at MLB Network studios and did not have to waste a moment to put on a Reds jersey and cap while meeting MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.

"This is just a once-in-a-lifetime experience where I get to go out and start my career and have a blast with a great ballclub and a great group of guys," Greene said.

The Reds selected Greene as a pitcher, but he's also a shortstop and could be a rare dynamic two-way player. Had he entered the Draft as a position player, he likely would also have been a first-round pick.

"We're going to leave the door open for both," Williams said. "This is a very unique situation, something we've never been confronted with before. We're thrilled to have the opportunity to go through this with Hunter.

"I will say we think the elite talent is there both ways, but pitching will be the first focus, this summer in particular. We want to make sure he builds up some more innings and that will be the focus. While he's in the process of building up innings, I think he can get at-bats."

Greene trusted the organization to make the right decision.

"Whatever they want me to do, I am going to be pumped to do it, just compete and be the best I can be," Greene said.

The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

Greene, who will turn 18 in August, attended the alma mater of All-Star slugger . He has been part of MLB's developmental program for a decade, first going to the Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif., at the age of 7.

"They had great Major League tutelage there," Greene said. "But the thing I took the most out of it was being a Major League citizen and helping other people and just being a responsible young man and working hard every time I step on that baseball field."

Cincinnati is also home to an Urban Youth Academy, and should Greene pan out and reach the Major Leagues, he's excited to participate in programming at that facility.

"Having the connection already at the one in Compton and now coming over to Cincinnati and having those relationships is something I'm already looking forward to doing," Greene said.

During his senior season at Notre Dame, Greene was 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA in five games, recording 43 strikeouts and four walks over 28 innings. He had a 1.62 ERA over his high school career, also batting .324/.374/.598 with six home runs and 28 RBIs. He has played for the U.S. national team at various levels, helping the 18-and-under squad win the World Cup in 2015, when he was just 15 years old.

Both Williams and Greene expressed optimism that his signing could happen quickly.

"I am just excited to go out there as soon as possible, be able to meet the staff and the players and get the ball rolling and start something special," Greene said.