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Greene Impresses Twins Brass

Friday night didn't only signify the first time a Twins club started a season 4-0 since 1987. It also signified the first time CBO Derek Falvey got to see high school prep pitching phenom Hunter Greene in person.

Falvey was one of five people representing the Twins organization, which also included scouting director Sean Johnson.
Image courtesy of © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
According to various reports, Greene sat at 98-99 with his fastball. Some radar guns even flashed triple digits. Throughout his 91-pitch, 13-strikeout, complete-game outing, his fastball never dipped below 95. Greene also flashed a devastating slider.

You can see Green throw one pitch, with the Twins crew in the background below:



Greene has become the darling of the draft. He's helped the poor by doing a sock drive, collecting socks in exchange for autographed cards. (And I missed the deadline... but he still sent the cards.) He's gone through hard family times as his younger sister dealt with leukemia. He's shown his personality through his social media.

On the field, he's proven to be, perhaps, the most unique prep right-handed pitcher in recent memory (or ever?) and strives to make history as the first ever high school right handed pitcher to go first overall. He's also a pretty darned good shortstop.

In a draft that doesn't include any top notch college stars, Greene continues to shine brightly and is becoming a cult hero in Twins Territory.

---

Check back for updates.

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71 Comments

 

I see a kid that became physically mature sooner than other kids his age. So, he is essentially at an advantage vs his current competition. That makes me skeptical. In the picture he looks like a 20 year old throwing to a 12 year old.

By "skeptical" do you mean you think he/his parents are lying about his age ?!?!?!  I really hope not.

 

Or (I hope) do you you mean that you are skeptical that he is being overhyped just because he matured early, and others will catch up to him, relatively speaking? If the latter, I'd just point out a couple of things: (1) he still throws the ball 98mph with ease in his 5th or 6th inning of pitching, which nobody but maybe a handful of 24 to 29 year old major league pitchers in their prime can do, and (2) IF YOU ARE RIGHT, that means he's ahead of his age cohort in terms of maturity and getting used to his adult body, making him more likely to make it to the majors quicker than a normal high schooler, which is all the more reason for the Twins to take him given their window of contention with many of their young players may start to close after 2021. 

    • glunn, gunnarthor, Loosey and 2 others like this
Safety: he doesn't pan out as a pitcher so you slide him over to short stop.
    • glunn and WiesbadenDAN like this

It seems like he may well be the right choice, but it makes me nervous, because TINSTAAPP.

    • GP830 likes this

A pitcher that wears a single digit number? Pass.

    • glunn, Thrylos, Loosey and 3 others like this

I say draft him and don't look back.  My reasons are:

 

1) He is the consensus best player / most upside in the draft.  

2) He is a pitcher that could be Ace material a few years down the road.  

3) Since drafting pitchers is risky for a multitude of reasons, injuries, doesn't improve, etc, this kid would probably be a high round pick as a shortstop.  So if something happens on the pitching front, he actually would have a 2nd shot at becoming a Major League SS, and possibly a very good one.  

    • Vanimal46 likes this

 

I say draft him and don't look back.  My reasons are:

 

1) He is the consensus best player / most upside in the draft.  

2) He is a pitcher that could be Ace material a few years down the road.  

3) Since drafting pitchers is risky for a multitude of reasons, injuries, doesn't improve, etc, this kid would probably be a high round pick as a shortstop.  So if something happens on the pitching front, he actually would have a 2nd shot at becoming a Major League SS, and possibly a very good one.  

I agree with 1 and 2 but #3 is probably unlikely.  Most players were solid two way players in high school, especially pitchers who are usually a teams best athletes.  Obviously, Greene's a bit ahead of all of them but not that far ahead.  If you don't play a position for a few years, it's really hard to catch up.  Stetson Allie was a first round talent as a pitcher but some teams thought he'd be better with his bat.  He pitched for a few years before giving that up to go back to hitting.  He's 26 and still in AA.  If the Twins draft Greene as a pitcher and in a few years they have to try again as a shortstop, he probably won't make it.

    • glunn, Loosey, Oldgoat_MN and 1 other like this

I'm with Loosey and others on the thread. Draft this guy and don't think twice about it. 

    • glunn, Mike Sixel, nicksaviking and 1 other like this

I think I'm on Green also. Just too much upside to pass on. If they think McKay is a two, and could hit like Mark Grace, I'd not kill them for that. If they think he's a three, I won't be happy. Not that we'll ever know.

    • glunn likes this

Bonus demands are going to complicate this a bit, too.  If Preller is going to be the dick that we all know he can be, the Twins won't get any savings out of the first pick and might have to go overslot for Greene.  If a college player comes at a discount, they might take that.

 

Bonus demands are going to complicate this a bit, too.  If Preller is going to be the dick that we all know he can be, the Twins won't get any savings out of the first pick and might have to go overslot for Greene.  If a college player comes at a discount, they might take that.

 

I'd hate to pass on a player because of bonus demands... If Greene is the guy, don't low ball him and pony up to get the best player. Especially if they think he has star potential.

    • Mike Sixel, gunnarthor and NapoleonComplex like this

 

Bonus demands are going to complicate this a bit, too.  If Preller is going to be the dick that we all know he can be, the Twins won't get any savings out of the first pick and might have to go overslot for Greene.  If a college player comes at a discount, they might take that.

 

How is it being a "dick" to get your client the best deal possible?

 

No way I pass on the best player over a few hundred K. No way. They should take the best player on their board.

 

I agree with 1 and 2 but #3 is probably unlikely.  Most players were solid two way players in high school, especially pitchers who are usually a teams best athletes.  Obviously, Greene's a bit ahead of all of them but not that far ahead.  If you don't play a position for a few years, it's really hard to catch up.  Stetson Allie was a first round talent as a pitcher but some teams thought he'd be better with his bat.  He pitched for a few years before giving that up to go back to hitting.  He's 26 and still in AA.  If the Twins draft Greene as a pitcher and in a few years they have to try again as a shortstop, he probably won't make it.

Maybe the odds are so small that it doesn't matter, but Greene's odds of succeeding as a hitter are meaningful - they are certainly not zero unlike other top HS pitchers (think Tyler Kolek). And his odds of providing at least some value are significantly increased since he plays an up-the-middle position. Allie is a good example. If Allie was a plus SS (which supposedly is Greene's potential at SS) instead of a corner outfield/1B guy, his career .741 OPS in AA is probably enough to get him a look in the big leagues.

    • glunn and Loosey like this
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Intramural Legend
Apr 10 2017 10:14 AM

 

How is it being a "dick" to get your client the best deal possible?

 

No way I pass on the best player over a few hundred K. No way. They should take the best player on their board.

 

Agree.  I will also say, the Twins hold a ton of leverage here.  

 

"Hi 18 year old, I'm going to offer you x million dollars today, but you can totally improve your number 1 overall draft stock by either taking a year off or going to college for three years to try and make a bit more"

    • ashbury, glunn and Oldgoat_MN like this

 

How is it being a "dick" to get your client the best deal possible?

 

No way I pass on the best player over a few hundred K. No way. They should take the best player on their board.

Preller is SD's GM, not Greene's adviser.  

 

Preller is SD's GM, not Greene's adviser.  

 

Oh, that. Right, I forgot about that.

 

Not worried in the least. Take the best player, offer him the money, and go from there.

 

This team has had two huge problems for a while now: Starting pitching and shortstop. You have a shot at a guy who has elite upside at both.

 

I'm not sure the Twins have problems at shortstop. They have Polanco not looking awful at the MLB level and Gordon and Vielma in the upper minors looking like they have a good shot at being at worst major league regulars and perhaps even more (in Gordon). And Jermaine Palacios is a promising guy who might be able to stick at short.

 

You can never have too many athletes but I would never draft a guy because we need a shortstop. I don't think we particularly do and I'd rather draft the guy who will have the most impact at the MLB level, regardless of position. If that's a CF, then we get a CF.

    • gunnarthor likes this

 

By "skeptical" do you mean you think he/his parents are lying about his age ?!?!?!  I really hope not.

 

Or (I hope) do you you mean that you are skeptical that he is being overhyped just because he matured early, and others will catch up to him, relatively speaking? If the latter, I'd just point out a couple of things: (1) he still throws the ball 98mph with ease in his 5th or 6th inning of pitching, which nobody but maybe a handful of 24 to 29 year old major league pitchers in their prime can do, and (2) IF YOU ARE RIGHT, that means he's ahead of his age cohort in terms of maturity and getting used to his adult body, making him more likely to make it to the majors quicker than a normal high schooler, which is all the more reason for the Twins to take him given their window of contention with many of their young players may start to close after 2021. 

I was not implying anything about questioning his age. What I was meaning(and didn't say very well) is that he has maybe physically matured a little ahead of kids his same age. As same age players catch up he may come back to the pack a little with his results in the coming years. Having said that, he does seem impressive.

    • nytwinsfan likes this

 

I was not implying anything about questioning his age. What I was meaning(and didn't say very well) is that he has maybe physically matured a little ahead of kids his same age. As same age players catch up he may come back to the pack a little with his results in the coming years. Having said that, he does seem impressive.

 

He's only 17. A lot of HS seniors will turn 19 this calendar year, if they aren't already. 

 

Is he physically better than other around him? Of course, that's why he might go 1:1. Is he more physically mature? Probably not significantly, compared to where he will be in 3-4 years.

    • Dr. Evil likes this

 

Maybe the odds are so small that it doesn't matter, but Greene's odds of succeeding as a hitter are meaningful - they are certainly not zero unlike other top HS pitchers (think Tyler Kolek). And his odds of providing at least some value are significantly increased since he plays an up-the-middle position. Allie is a good example. If Allie was a plus SS (which supposedly is Greene's potential at SS) instead of a corner outfield/1B guy, his career .741 OPS in AA is probably enough to get him a look in the big leagues.

I agree.  If there were another HS pitcher the same age, RH who graded out exactly like Greene but that pitcher didn't have projectability at SS you take Greene every day.  It more of a bonus/back up plan than it is a sure thing.. 

Not sure if this point has been made yet, but I am really risk-averse and cringe at the idea of being the first to draft a HS RHP at 1-1 only to have him not be able to find the strike zone.

 

However, an even worse scenario than being the first to draft a HS RHP is to draft a position at 1-1 that has repeatedly failed. The Twins still took Mauer, the HS catcher, and I think we can all agree that his WAR of 33.5 prior to free-agency made the pick well worth it.

 

 

    • Mike Sixel likes this

KLAW did say that Greene would be a top ten pick as a SS also....but no one is drafting him as a SS first. 

    • nytwinsfan likes this
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Willihammer
Apr 10 2017 02:08 PM

I would challenge anyone to find statistical comparisons to Greene that went in the top 3 picks. I have spot checked a few recent picks and every one outperformed Greene in high school. Eg. Nick Gordon batted 1.483 his senior year. Greene batted 1.250 last year, but is only at .971 so far in 2017. Justin Upton, who was a SS in high school, batted .508 with 12 homers his senior year. Greene is at .306 with 3 homers through a half season. Andrew McCutchen batted .709 with 16 homers. Colby Rasmus batted .484 with 24 homers.

 

Similar story on the mound- Greene has 43 Ks in 28 IP(106 BF, 40.6%, 13.8 K/9).

By comparison, Kershaw struckout 139 in 64 IP (19.5 K/9). porcello struckout 112 in 71 IP (14.8 K/9). Odorizzi sruckout 146 in 89.2 innings (14.7 k/9). The highest of these picks was Kershaw at 7. Porcello was 27th and Odorizzi was 32nd. Further, a few of these guys put up better numbers at the plate too, while attending schools 2-3 times as large in attendance. Suggesting they faced tougher competition.

 

I believe too much of Greene's value is being placed in projection. High school results aren't the be all end all but when they stray to far from comps that should be a red flag that perhaps his stock is in bubble territory.

    • glunn, Thrylos and diehardtwinsfan like this

 

 

I believe too much of Greene's value is being placed in projection. High school results aren't the be all end all but when they stray to far from comps that should be a red flag that perhaps his stock is in bubble territory.

Every single player you listed was drafted based on projection.  None were drafted b/c of their HS stats.  Those are completely meaningless.  The issue is if the people doing the projecting think Greene is/will be better than the other guys they are looking at.  If he is, they'll probably draft him.

    • Mike Sixel, nicksaviking, beckmt and 1 other like this
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Willihammer
Apr 10 2017 02:41 PM

 

Every single player you listed was drafted based on projection.  None were drafted b/c of their HS stats.  Those are completely meaningless.  The issue is if the people doing the projecting think Greene is/will be better than the other guys they are looking at.  If he is, they'll probably draft him.

I didn't phrase that quite right. The projections have gotten out of hand. His production against high school competition does- or should, count for SOMETHING when making projections. Its not an exact science by any means, I realize that, but when the divergence between projection and results becomes so great that we have a player underperforming past supplemental round picks being pegged as a 1-1 talent, that should raise a red flag.

    • Dr. Evil likes this
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drivlikejehu
Apr 10 2017 03:49 PM

It does kind of worry me that high schoolers manage to put the ball in play against Greene a decent percentage of the time, relatively speaking. However, his elite overall athleticism is a big factor in his favor . . . even if he is physically mature for his age, I like his chances to dramatically improve on his consistency and command with added reps.

 

I don't think he's a real exciting 1-1 option, ideally you get an elite HS position player there, but there's no denying the upside.


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