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Take Landis Name off the MVP Award

Other Baseball Today, 01:57 PM
Barry Larkin, former MVP, has been calling for removing the Kenesaw Mountain Landis name from MVP awards.Personally, until I read the art...
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Gleeman: "There will be a game Twins fans can watch v...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:48 PM
  What does this mean, any guesses? Going to see a simulated live game? Twins going to go 9-on-9 tonight?
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And then there is the case of the Blue Jays to consider

Other Baseball Today, 12:20 PM
https://www.sportsne...measures-place/ Here we are, theoretically two weeks away from Opening Day. The Blue Jays aren’t yet certain where...
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The #5 pitcher on the 1965 Twins

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:27 PM
Tim Flattery had a conversation with Dwight Siebler, who was the 5th start on the 1965 Twins World Series team (the Sandy Koufax series)....
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Twins Take to Target Field's Concourses

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:59 AM
Dan Hayes of The Athletic wrote an article about and included some pictures of how the Twins are trying to take advantage of Target Field...
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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

Pick Greene Now is the time to roll the dice. If he really is the second coming of Ruth, we will have 20 years of fabulous baseball.  All the rest  Wright etc. are only marginally better than what they can get at picks 35 and 37. I say go for it and pick Hunter Greene.

 

Remember, Sid said back in the day to pick Laettner over Shaq given the choice.  Don't be Sid

This is a nice problem to have. Although, it means the Twins sucked last year.

 

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

 

Some just need to convince themselves they know more than others. Just turn on sports talk radio. Green looks plenty smooth to me. Lincecum didn't do bad for years with his freaky delivery. Nobody knows.

 

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.

 

I met his dad at the games I saw. Nice guy. Definitely the family is hoping for San Diego, he even said so, and that is influencing the son. Seems to me it would be best to not be close to helicopter family, for over all becoming. He said they have modeled Hunter's training after the San Diego philosophy, whatever that means.

    • Respy likes this

Why has there been no Gore steam?  He's left-handed, could be the best pitcher coming out of high school, racked up some accolades, seems to have positive scouting reviews, and in my opinion looks like a guy they could possibly sign under slot to aim for a higher ceiling guy that may fall.

 

Boy jimbo it looks like a W to me.

C9awz5SUMAAaZxX.jpg

Sort of an inverted W, but not quite. I'm hoping Twins coaches will smooth out that over-extension, tho it's not as extreme as what we see in Greene, whose throwing forearm is near vertical, not pointed sideways like Wright's. Plus, Wright's moment of acceleration starts with a pronounced leg drive, but smooth acceleration to more of a forward position of his elbow before the final rotation of the forearm, where it causes less stress on that elbow joint. Great photo!

    • h2oface likes this
Why is Greene's strikeouts low? Does his fastball not have movement
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KirbyDome89
Jun 07 2017 06:38 PM

 

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. 

Agreed. I can live with any pick, good or bad, as long as they're taking who they perceive to be the best player. If they honestly think Wright is the better player then I'm on board, but if they're going the college route to take the safer pick and avert "risk," despite thinking Greene is potentially the better prospect then mediocrity might be the best we can hope for...

    • Broker likes this
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Bob Sacamento
Jun 07 2017 07:44 PM

 

Why has there been no Gore steam?  He's left-handed, could be the best pitcher coming out of high school, racked up some accolades, seems to have positive scouting reviews, and in my opinion looks like a guy they could possibly sign under slot to aim for a higher ceiling guy that may fall.

Yes, he should and is definitely in the talk still but he's not going to sign "significantly" underslot than say other elite HS talent such as Hunter Greene or Royce Lewis.  If you want that you need to dig a little deeper say a Jordon Adell, Austin Beck, or Shane Baz or go a different route like a Pavin Smith, JB Bukauskas.  Of the top 3 HS talents, Lewis is reportedly more likely to sign for underslot than the two pitchers.

 

Pick Greene Now is the time to roll the dice. If he really is the second coming of Ruth, we will have 20 years of fabulous baseball.  All the rest  Wright etc. are only marginally better than what they can get at picks 35 and 37. I say go for it and pick Hunter Greene.

 

Remember, Sid said back in the day to pick Laettner over Shaq given the choice.  Don't be Sid

That's the thing, though...no baseball people are saying he's the second coming of Ruth or any big time prospect. That SI cover did nobody any favors. Greene isn't really considered a better prospect than Wright etc.. There's a handful of guys who are basically considered the same level of prospects at the top of the draft. Bryce Harper is what you would consider a "second coming of Ruth" type prospect. Greene is not in that class. Not even close, really. This is not a strong draft. 17 year old throwing 100 gets a lot of attention in a weak class. If he was in the same draft class as Harper there wouldn't have been any debate at all about who was the better prospect. Heck, if you just want a teenager throwing gas why not take hometown boy Carlson? He's throwing 96 and has offspeed offerings.

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twinsfanstreif
Jun 07 2017 08:40 PM

Some just need to convince themselves they know more than others. Just turn on sports talk radio. Green looks plenty smooth to me. Lincecum didn't do bad for years with his freaky delivery. Nobody knows.


I think they actually know what they're talking about and it's not just a "smooth" delivery that matters, it has a lot to do with movement and stress on the body. They actually note Greene's smooth delivery but also note that it doesn't seem like his legs are strong enough so he's compensating with his arm which could lead to lots of stress on the arm, they basically say that it is fixed with gaining some mass in his lower half. Also with Lincecum he has struggled with injuries but his body held up for about 4 stellar years with the Giants before he started to break down, and the stress in his delivery was not on his arm, it was mostly on his hips and back (which is exactly where he got hurt. Yoh say "nobody knows" except that's not entirely true, sports science experts have been studying this for years now and injury prediction due to mechanics and biology are getting pretty good.
    • h2oface and Sweetwater like this

 

I think they actually know what they're talking about and it's not just a "smooth" delivery that matters, it has a lot to do with movement and stress on the body. They actually note Greene's smooth delivery but also note that it doesn't seem like his legs are strong enough so he's compensating with his arm which could lead to lots of stress on the arm, they basically say that it is fixed with gaining some mass in his lower half. Also with Lincecum he has struggled with injuries but his body held up for about 4 stellar years with the Giants before he started to break down, and the stress in his delivery was not on his arm, it was mostly on his hips and back (which is exactly where he got hurt. You say "nobody knows" except that's not entirely true, sports science experts have been studying this for years now and injury prediction due to mechanics and biology are getting pretty good.

 

Interesting, that when the predictions for the NCAA basketball tourney are looked back on, the talking heads that told us what would happen, don't fare well. I agree that the science is not to be denied. If Greene can do what he does now without his legs "strong enough", just imagine what can be with legs becoming strong enough, and used more! I will take 4 great Lincecum years, more than a 4 ish ERA inning eater (Brake Radke?) that last a longer time. All pitchers are going to break down. Their time, like running backs, is limited, and they know that going in, or should. Even with the science, we are guessing, just convincing ourselves it is a better guess with better probabilities. Until they go down anyway. Which they do with ever increasing frequency, regardless of the better knowledge and science. It's fun to talk about, though. And then there are unexplainable occurances, like Sandy Koufax (bright and quick and violent delivery) and ageless Nolan Ryan, and Randy Johnson...... and Clayton Kershaw.

Nolan Ryan had tremendous leg and hip strength, according to the mechanics gurus. Wright also has a pretty high injury risk according to them. Greene has more risk *right now*, but if he can get stronger in a relatively shortish amount of time, meaning he has to focus on it immediately, he's very much worth the pick.

    • h2oface likes this

 

Why has there been no Gore steam?  He's left-handed, could be the best pitcher coming out of high school, racked up some accolades, seems to have positive scouting reviews, and in my opinion looks like a guy they could possibly sign under slot to aim for a higher ceiling guy that may fall.

 

Wait for it...

 

Why is Greene's strikeouts low? Does his fastball not have movement

 

?? 43 Ks in 28 innings this year. They shut him down on the mound in April. Parents want to save the arm and development for pro ball. 

 

http://www.maxpreps....eball-stats.htm

 

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twinsfanstreif
Jun 08 2017 04:17 PM

I will take 4 great Lincecum years, more than a 4 ish ERA inning eater (Brake Radke?) that last a longer time.


Interestingly Lincecum has a career 21 WAR which is pretty good but Radke's is 45
    • 70charger likes this

 

Interestingly Lincecum has a career 21 WAR which is pretty good but Radke's is 45

 

Why is Radke so criminally underrated?

    • dgwills likes this

 

Why is Radke so criminally underrated?

He didn't strike guys out.

All I am saying is........ that I would rather have a bright star that burns quick, and shines bright, than a long term innings eater middle of the road pitcher.

 

 

It is a huge risk to not grab a talent like this when the #1 overall lines up.

I like Wright, and he would be a good add to the system.

 

However, Greene looks every part the phenom, most likely a once in a career chance for Falvey and Levine to get their hands on such a player without breaking the bank. 

 

The thing about Greene is that, apart from baseball skills, he seems to have a great make-up and loads of character. 

 

7 million plus change is only a few more than they wagered on Nishi, and far less than they wagered on Park.

 

Be bold leadership. be bold. 

    • jorgenswest and Einstein1 like this

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