Teenage southpaw Green taking in first Spring Training
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Mike Trout is long removed from his days as the youngest player at Angels camp.
That honor, by a long shot, now belongs to left-hander Hunter Green, the 18-year-old starting pitcher who was drafted out of high school in the second round of the First-Year Player Draft last June.
"Before I got here, I was worried and scared about how it was going to be," Green said. "And once I got here, I fit right in, and so far it's been going really good."
When the Angels plucked Green out of Bowling Green, Ky. -- the same hometown as Joe Blanton and Corey Hart -- he was rail thin, his 6-foot-4 frame weighing only 159 pounds. Now, he's up to 180. And eventually, he'd like to get to 200 pounds.
Green can throw his fastball in the mid-90s, but hit a wall late in the season in rookie ball and struggled to even get it up to 90 mph. Green finished his stint in the Arizona League with a 4.32 ERA, walking 16 batters while striking out 11 in 16 2/3 innings.
Needless to say, there's still a lot of room for growth.
"I'm still trying to figure out the feel for all my pitches," said Green, ranked 11th in the Angels' system by MLB.com in 2013. "I'm still trying to learn command for all my pitches, because that's one thing I've really struggled on the whole time I've been pitching, especially last year. I've had a lot of walks."