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Gleeman: Top 15 Twins Most Valuable Players Long-Term

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https://theathletic....rilloff-buxton/   (subscription required)   Today, Aaron Gleeman posted his Top 15 most valuable Twins p...
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NY Times: How Popular Is Baseball, Really?

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    Major League Baseball and its fans have raised alarms in recent years over a perceived decline in the popularity of baseba...
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Front Page: A Relief Ace Rotation, Part 3: Other Concerns

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On Monday, we found that the Twins’ best relievers struggled on back-to-back days and wondered if scheduling the best relievers might not...
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Front Page: The 2020 Offseason Handbook Is Now Available...

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It's a hard truth: The 2019 Twins season is over. It ended in a way none of us wanted. But here's the good news: This team's contention w...
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John Castino: Financial Planner

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I was researching John Castino for my Twins Birthdays twitter account.    Found this article from 6-7 years ago from Patch, a n...
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Twins MLB Draft Preview: Hunter Greene, SP/SS

The hype is real for Hunter Greene. At age 17, he has already attained legendary status, gracing a Sports Illustrated cover with the magazine hailing him as the star baseball needs.

Baseball's LeBron James or the new Babe Ruth? Those comparisons aren't made lightly. It would seem that Greene, a two-way phenom who throws 100 MPH on the mound and dominates at shortstop, is a no-brainer at No. 1 overall.

But he's not. Far from it.
Image courtesy of Sports Illustrated
Who Is He?

We have been following Greene for a long time here on Twins Daily. Ever since the 2016 season ended and Minnesota officially claimed the top pick in this June's draft, he has fronted the list of candidates to become their selection. Many months later, he remains in the high esteem of scouts and analysts. Baseball America has him at the top of their board. So does MLB.com.

The reasons are evident. As a pitcher, Greene has the makings of a generational stud. His fastball has been clocked at triple digits many times, and he routinely maintains high-90s velocity deep into games. What's more, he brings this heat with an easy motion that doesn't raise alarms about mechanical issues down the line.

In his prep career with Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA, Greene posted a 1.62 ERA over 121 innings. As a senior he struck out 41 percent of the batters he faced. He belongs in the conversation for best high school right-hander ever.

And then there is the other side of his game. Greene is also a smooth defensive shortstop, one who obviously has the arm to make every throw. He swings hard and generates a ton of power. There's a general belief that he could easily be an all-star as a position player, even if he doesn't stick at short. However, in that capacity Greene is more first-round pick material than first pick material.

Here are some highlights via LA Daily News from his 2017 debut for Notre Dame, in which he blew several hitters away from the hill and ripped a grand slam at the plate:



Greene has a commitment to UCLA but it's highly unlikely he'll honor it, unless things go awry and he falls out of the top three.

Why The Twins Will Pick Him

I mean, how do you pass this up? The Twins could desperately use an elite pitching prospect in their pipeline, and Greene has a chance to become THE elite pitching prospect very quickly. If he maintains his purported ability to work in the upper 90s with good command throughout entire starts, and he develops his secondary offerings at all, he can transform into an MLB rotation-fronter in fairly short order.

You miss on that, and go with a safer collegiate option who proves to be merely good (or not even), and it's a mistake that haunts for many years to come. These are the stakes for Derek Falvey and Thad Levine, just nine months into the job.

They recognize this, and their scouts have been all over Greene every step of the way. He has been analyzed from every angle, by numerous sets of eyes. If the Twins, through their rigorous evaluations, agree with the widely held opinion that Greene is essentially a can't-miss – particularly with the fallback as a talented position player should pitching not work out – then they will take him.

Why The Twins Will Not Pick Him

Unless we're getting smokescreens, it would appear the Twins are in fact not reaching that conclusion.

In mid-May, USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale tweeted that the Twins were "leaning toward passing on" Greene. Ten days later, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported this more firmly, "barring a late change." If true, it's not clear what would happen to reverse their mindset at this stage, other than someone else on the board getting hurt.

Here's the thing: Greene is really, really risky. And with the aforementioned stakes at play, it may just be too much risk to handle at this pick. No right-handed prep pitcher has ever gone first overall, and there is a reason for it: they are really difficult to project from this stage.

Kohl Stewart was considered the best high school hurler in the nation when the Twins took him fourth overall in 2013. His stuff never developed enough to dominate in the pros, however, and four years later he's completely off the prospect radar.

The following year, Tyler Kolek – a Texas HS righty who, like Greene, was known for his eye-popping velocity as a teen – went second overall to Miami. He required Tommy John surgery at the age of 20, and is still now rehabbing. When he has pitched, the numbers haven't been good.

Greene is on a higher plane than either, to be sure, but the cautionary tales still resonate. And like any high school player, he has question marks. Opinions differ on whether his secondary pitches are up to par. Commanding the zone at his level of competition is vastly different from doing so against professional hitters. And while he is well built physically, with relatively sound mechanics, you cannot help but wonder how throwing hundreds of 95-plus MPH pitches at such a young age is cumulatively affecting his arm.

The Twins, and other organizations, haven't seen that arm in action since mid-April, when Greene was shut down for precautionary reasons. There's simply a lot more data available on guys like Kyle Wright and Brendan McKay. This new front office likes data.

Then again, everyone likes triple-digit heat and seemingly endless potential. Will Greene's uniquely high ceiling rule out? Or have the Twins seen enough in their extensive examinations to scare them away?

Reports suggest the latter, but we shall see how it plays out on Monday.

Make sure to check out Jeremy Nygaard's 10-round Twins mock draft. He's been known to get a few right in the past.

Previous Draft Profiles:

Brendan McKay, SP/1B by Cody Christie
Royce Lewis, SS/OF by Nick Nelson
Pavin Smith, 1B by Tom Froemming

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46 Comments

Tough call.  You gotta think with all the eyes they have on him, if they are shying away, there has to be a reason....

    • HitInAPinch and Vanimal46 like this
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Willihammer
Jun 06 2017 08:45 PM

In his prep career with Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA, Greene posted a 1.62 ERA over 121 innings. As a senior he struck out 41 percent of the batters he faced. He belongs in the conversation for best high school right-hander ever.

Not based on those stats he doesn't.
    • Dantes929 and Broker like this
I'm no scout, but how do you explain Greene "falling" from the consensus #1 without throwing an inning? Hysteria over the dreaded "high school pitcher," or something actual? Indication that he won't sign unless it's the right team?

I'd like them to take Greene over Wright, if possible. Conservatism has gotten this club nowhere (aside from undisputed title as worst franchise in baseball over 2.5 decades).

A front-line, legit ace pitcher is absolutely necessary to be a serious contender. Another fast-tracked college guy that throws 92 just isn't getting this team over the hump. I don't want to endure another 5-6 year run of decent teams that get bounced in the first round after a decade rebuild.

Also, let's be honest, we all know Wright will need TJ after a year in the Twins system like everyone else. He'll be delayed, be yo-yo'd back and forth for a couple years to milk service time, and finally arrive at age 27, just in time to see Miguel Sano pack up his locker to head to Bronx in 2022.

For once, I'd like this team to grow a set, take a risk, and ask the hot girl to prom. Go after the ceiling, and stop worrying so much about the floor.

I won't be overly upset if they draft Wright. But, if Falvey wants to do something that truly resonates with a message of, "We're doing things differently now," he should take Greene.
    • beckmt, h2oface, twinssouth and 2 others like this
I find Greene to be very intriguing, and I'd be happy if they draftnhim and root like crazy for him. But I don't understand the abbreviated season this year. And while I've certainly read the positives about all around talent and athleticism, I'm looking at him as a starting pitcher and not an athlete. I just haven't seen/read where he has a consistent, plus and potentially better breaking ball, much less a third offering with any kind of potential. If I could feel better about those secondary offerings, and their potential, I'd be more on board.
    • Twins33, milldam and chpettit19 like this
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Brandon Warne
Jun 06 2017 10:15 PM

 

I'm no scout, but how do you explain Greene "falling" from the consensus #1 without throwing an inning?

 

He threw innings this year, and was never the consensus No. 1.

    • laloesch and HitInAPinch like this
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Brandon Warne
Jun 06 2017 10:17 PM

 

I find Greene to be very intriguing, and I'd be happy if they draftnhim and root like crazy for him. But I don't understand the abbreviated season this year. And while I've certainly read the positives about all around talent and athleticism, I'm looking at him as a starting pitcher and not an athlete. I just haven't seen/read where he has a consistent, plus and potentially better breaking ball, much less a third offering with any kind of potential. If I could feel better about those secondary offerings, and their potential, I'd be more on board.

 

He made a business decision. He's going in the top three picks -- most likely -- and that's $7 million he could lose (or rather, have on the table and never see). I don't blame him. It's very rare that anyone could make this decision with the margin for error only being about a million bucks (slots 1-3 difference in value).

I just watched a Youtube video, "Hunter Greene 102mph Pitching Mechanics and Contralateral Tilt - Ep360." 

 

Scared me. Two guys that appear quite knowledgeable went through a fairly detailed analysis of why Hunter Greene could be in danger of popping his TJ ligament. Basically it boils down to not using his legs and lower body enough, trying to create speed with his upper body and torquing his forearm. 

 

Their solution was for whatever team drafts Greene to put him on a physical training program to add 30 pounds of muscle, then clean up his pitching mechanics to preserve his elbow. They practically predicted TJ surgery if this was not done. 

 

Whatever people have been saying about easy velocity, this sure didn't sound like it. Sounded more like an ambitious young kid throwing as hard as he can, with just enough knowledge and development to wreck his arm. 

 

If the Twins do draft Greene, I hope they seriously consider a year of building up this young man's physical strength, and then breaking down his mechanics from the ground up. 

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HitInAPinch
Jun 07 2017 02:00 AM

A pitchers throwing motion is abnormal, given how a shoulder is built.  

A high school kid throwing 100 mph is really abnormal.  

 

I'm hoping I'm really, really wrong, but I sense TJ surgery for Greene in the not too distant future.  

 

On the other hand, if the Twins feel they have the coaching staff that can convince Greene to ease back on the fastball and put more effort into secondary pitches, I'd draft Greene in a heartbeat.

 

In other words, I'm probably more wishy-washy than the rest of you combined!

I'm so used to the Twins number one pick being a disappointment, that if they pick Greene and he falters or hurts himself, it would be SNAFU. Expected. Because, other than Mauer, the first round picks are lucky to make it at all, and if they do, are pretty not so special. So, I hope they aren't the team that misses the chance to grab the anointed one, and watches him be as special as the cover of Sports Illustrated projects him to be. And I always want them to draft college players and not high school. Except this time. I hope they don't blow this.

 

I just watched a Youtube video, "Hunter Greene 102mph Pitching Mechanics and Contralateral Tilt - Ep360." 

 

Scared me. Two guys that appear quite knowledgeable went through a fairly detailed analysis of why Hunter Greene could be in danger of popping his TJ ligament. Basically it boils down to not using his legs and lower body enough, trying to create speed with his upper body and torquing his forearm. 

 

Their solution was for whatever team drafts Greene to put him on a physical training program to add 30 pounds of muscle, then clean up his pitching mechanics to preserve his elbow. They practically predicted TJ surgery if this was not done. 

 

Whatever people have been saying about easy velocity, this sure didn't sound like it. Sounded more like an ambitious young kid throwing as hard as he can, with just enough knowledge and development to wreck his arm. 

 

If the Twins do draft Greene, I hope they seriously consider a year of building up this young man's physical strength, and then breaking down his mechanics from the ground up. 

 

Is Greene that much more of a threat to need TJ compared to Wright, Gore, or any other pitcher on the planet? Also, the dude is about to turn 18. Still probably eats 2 Chipotle burritos without gaining an ounce... There's plenty of time for him to build 30 lbs of muscle if needed. 

 

    • nicksaviking, Sweetwater and KirbyDome89 like this

Also, let's be honest, we all know Wright will need TJ after a year in the Twins system like everyone else. He'll be delayed, be yo-yo'd back and forth for a couple years to milk service time, and finally arrive at age 27, just in time to see Miguel Sano pack up his locker to head to Bronx in 2022.
 

He "might" have to have a surgery for an injury he hasn't had yet.He also "might" get hit in the head with a line drive.I suppose we should sign him up for a CT scan now too.Same could be said for Greene, Lewis, Baz, or any other pick.

    • 70charger, Vanimal46 and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this

 

He "might" have to have a surgery for an injury he hasn't had yet.He also "might" get hit in the head with a line drive.I suppose we should sign him up for a CT scan now too.Same could be said for Greene, Lewis, Baz, or any other pick.

 

Yeah strange... Didn't realize there were a bunch of Dr. Nick's on here! 

 

tumblr_loc95pPWpS1qzrnyro1_500.jpg

    • Nick Nelson, gunnarthor, Twins33 and 3 others like this
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twinsfanstreif
Jun 07 2017 08:18 AM

I just watched a Youtube video, "Hunter Greene 102mph Pitching Mechanics and Contralateral Tilt - Ep360." 
 
Scared me. Two guys that appear quite knowledgeable went through a fairly detailed analysis of why Hunter Greene could be in danger of popping his TJ ligament. Basically it boils down to not using his legs and lower body enough, trying to create speed with his upper body and torquing his forearm. 
 
Their solution was for whatever team drafts Greene to put him on a physical training program to add 30 pounds of muscle, then clean up his pitching mechanics to preserve his elbow. They practically predicted TJ surgery if this was not done. 
 
Whatever people have been saying about easy velocity, this sure didn't sound like it. Sounded more like an ambitious young kid throwing as hard as he can, with just enough knowledge and development to wreck his arm. 
 
If the Twins do draft Greene, I hope they seriously consider a year of building up this young man's physical strength, and then breaking down his mechanics from the ground up.


If it helps those guys were much more positive about Greene than Wright and they are hyper critical of everyone in their videos
    • h2oface likes this

 


For once, I'd like this team to grow a set, take a risk, and ask the hot girl to prom. Go after the ceiling, and stop worrying so much about the floor..

You understand that Stewart and Jay were both risk picks, right? Hell, Buxton over Appel was a little risky at the time. Those picks were exactly what you are clamoring for the Twins to do. 

    • Dozier's Glorious Hair likes this

 

You understand that Stewart and Jay were both risk picks, right? Hell, Buxton over Appel was a little risky at the time. Those picks were exactly what you are clamoring for the Twins to do. 

 

That's fair to say they were both risk picks. Jay was a different type of risk IMO as he was a reliever trying to be converted into a starter. Stewart is pretty comparable since he was the top HS arm in that draft. 

 

I'm not faulting the organization for the Stewart pick. It looked like the right pick at the time, and will always favor the high ceiling over a "safer" option. 

    • gunnarthor and KirbyDome89 like this

I posted this in another thread but it far from unanimous that Greene is the best guy. Fangraphs has Wright #1 on their draft board and Jim Callis said he'd take Gore over Greene. Greene has velocity but Gore is way ahead of him on secondary pitchers - Hall and a few others might be, too, including Carlson. Greene's risk is a lot higher than Kohl Stewart at draft time. Stewart was supposed to have quality secondary pitches already and was seen as a relatively safe HS pick. 

 

Wright is probably the best player in this draft class and that's the guy the Twins should nab.

    • Twins33, bluechipper, DocBauer and 3 others like this
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nicksaviking
Jun 07 2017 08:51 AM

 

You understand that Stewart and Jay were both risk picks, right? Hell, Buxton over Appel was a little risky at the time. Those picks were exactly what you are clamoring for the Twins to do. 

 

I don't know about the Jay pick, he was supposed to be pretty safe being a college lefty and all. Stewart seemed to pretty clearly be the consensus #4 best player in that draft; I wanted him, I won't fault them for that pick. Buxton over Appel however seems to promote going the risk route.

 

 

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nicksaviking
Jun 07 2017 08:54 AM

 

I posted this in another thread but it far from unanimous that Greene is the best guy. Fangraphs has Wright #1 on their draft board and Jim Callis said he'd take Gore over Greene. Greene has velocity but Gore is way ahead of him on secondary pitchers - Hall and a few others might be, too, including Carlson. Greene's risk is a lot higher than Kohl Stewart at draft time. Stewart was supposed to have quality secondary pitches already and was seen as a relatively safe HS pick. 

 

Wright is probably the best player in this draft class and that's the guy the Twins should nab.

 

You're suggesting that if Greene and Stewart where in the same draft, everyone would be putting Stewart on top? I don't buy that one, people liked Stewart but not that much; Stewart was so far behind everyone developmentally.

 

 

    • Sweetwater likes this

 

You're suggesting that if Greene and Stewart where in the same draft, everyone would be putting Stewart on top? I don't buy that one, people liked Stewart but not that much; Stewart was so far behind everyone developmentally.

No, but they'd be saying that Stewart is the safer pick. Kind of like how, in this draft, people are saying Gore is a safer pick than Greene despite Greene being ranked above him.

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Comrade Bork
Jun 07 2017 09:59 AM
Screw the safe pick. I want Greene.
    • h2oface and Broker like this

The only real debate about Greene is whether or not the Twins feel they can get him to develop 2 secondary pitches. They've scouted him a ton, obviously, and if they've come to the conclusion that he is all velocity and nothing else he's not the pick you make. No organization cares that he was on the cover of SI. Nobody has him in the Harper galaxie of prospects. That SI cover is nice and all, but he's not that type of prospect. The most encouraging and positive scouting reports I've seen on him have him with a plus-plus fastball (obviously) and the possibility for 2 average secondary pitches. Those are the best reports. Nobody I've seen is predicting him to have any plus secondary pitches. That's an awful big risk at pick 1-1.

    • Steve Lein, gunnarthor, 70charger and 4 others like this

 

Is Greene that much more of a threat to need TJ compared to Wright, Gore, or any other pitcher on the planet? Also, the dude is about to turn 18. Still probably eats 2 Chipotle burritos without gaining an ounce... There's plenty of time for him to build 30 lbs of muscle if needed. 

If "expert" knowledge is any guide, then yeah, Greene could be more vulnerable to tearing his elbow than some others. I can testify personally that proper form really, really matters. As a kid I got tennis elbow from hitting with too much wrist flip, too much forearm rotation, an aluminum racket, and even from Kevlar strings. That condition is a lesser form of the same injury that could tear completely for a guy trying to throw a ball with max effort, whether it's a fastball, a slider or some other pitch. 

 

Form counts a lot, which is why some people spot the "inverted W" as a sign of over-torquing the elbow, and a possible predictor of TJ trouble. Strassborg did it, and so does Greene. Wright does not, his form appears to be less punishing on the elbow. BTW, McKay does an inverted W, too, but not as severely as Greene does. 

 

This might explain why Greene's high school coach shut him down before the end of the season. Could be that one or more scouts spotted this problem and recommended that he simply stop pitching until professional coaches could work to give him better form. I hope that's what happened, and that Greene wasn't already feeling pain in the elbow. 

    • Vanimal46 likes this
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Willihammer
Jun 07 2017 10:53 AM

 

Form counts a lot, which is why some people spot the "inverted W" as a sign of over-torquing the elbow, and a possible predictor of TJ trouble. Strassborg did it, and so does Greene. Wright does not, his form appears to be less punishing on the elbow. BTW, McKay does an inverted W, too, but not as severely as Greene does. . 

Boy jimbo it looks like a W to me.

C9awz5SUMAAaZxX.jpg

    • jimbo92107 and Bob Sacamento like this

There's also something to be said for the fact that Greene seems to want to play for San Diego.  Although he hasn't explicitly said he doesn't want to play for the Twins, it's clear enough that he doesn't want to play for the Twins.  For a young player that will require as much development as Greene will, he will need to buy into the Twins development system.  With all of the question marks at hand, I think I'd rather pick someone who has their heart in the right place, presuming the Twins feel there's another player of high enough quality.

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Kernels Fan
Jun 07 2017 12:03 PM

 

 

 

 

...Their solution was for whatever team drafts Greene to put him on a physical training program to add 30 pounds of muscle, then clean up his pitching mechanics to preserve his elbow. They practically predicted TJ surgery if this was not done. 

 

Send him to Cedar Rapids.  We'll feed him sweet corn and filet, find a nice nurse that understands physiology for him to date, and have him train with JP Martinez until he is ready for the big time.


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