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Article: Draft Preview: Greene Hits 100

hunter greene royce lewis alex faedo mlb draft draft
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#1 Jeremy Nygaard

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 10:01 AM

If you fast-forward four months… you’ll still be waiting another week for the draft to happen and there will still be plenty of uncertainty about what will happen as the Twins approach the podium to announce the first overall draft pick. They’ll also draft 35th, thanks to a competitive balance comp pick, and 37th, when the second round begins.The Twins will have the largest bonus pool at their disposal (nearly $13.5 million), but won’t have the ability to “play the draft” as others have in the past. Comparing the last two drafts, the first pick this year has $7.4 million tied to it, a dramatic decrease from last year’s $9 million and change. The first overall pick this year is twice the slot of the 13th pick; last year the first pick was worth twice as much as the fifth pick. These changes that have happened in the new CBA put a direct damper on teams trying to tank for the first pick (or, more specifically, the money tied to the first pick).

Gone are the days when a team could cut a deal with a player (or two) and use those savings on a third player who miraculously drops in the draft. In 2015, the Astros, owning the second, fifth and thirty-seventh picks were able to hand out three of the highest six bonuses.

Don’t misunderstand, some players will still sign underslot and some will still sign for overslot. It’s just not going to be the same as it was before. And that directly impacts the Twins.

Fortunately, despite all the changes, the Twins will still pick first and still have their choice of all the players available. And there are some good ones.

You probably saw the Keith Law tweet on Friday night that California prep RHP Hunter Greene hit 100 mph. (Or if you bought the Twins Prospect Handbook, you read there that he’s touched 100 mph before.)

Law’s tweet really got Twitter going though.

But according to a source in California, Greene touched 102 mph last week and has demonstrated improved command of his entire four-pitch arsenal. Over 60 scouts witnessed Friday’s tilt, where Greene also showed his ability to hit.

2/7 Update: Was able to talk to another source who was at the game. Said Greene touched 101 on Friday night and that his slider "was better". The slider is the aforementioned "fourth pitch" to go with his curveball and change. The Twins are believed to have had three scouts in attendance.

The state of Minnesota swooned.

Greene has become the fan’s early favorite to be selected first overall. But will the front office decide this is the year where a prep right-handed pitcher finally goes first overall? Only time will tell.

If not, there are plenty of other options. The college season hasn’t gotten underway yet, but Vanderbilt OF Jeren Kendall is a polished, five-tool prospect who deserves to be in the conversation. The Twins are enamored with the college pitching class which includes RHP Alex Faedo, Florida; RHP Kyle Wright, Vanderbilt; RHP J.B. Bukauskas, North Carolina; and RHP Alex Lange, LSU; among others.

There are other preps to consider too and one of the names at the top of the list is California prep SS Royce Lewis. Lewis headlines a fairly deep group of prep hitters and is out to prove he can play the most difficult position in baseball. He has played third base, deferring to upperclassmen, but is making the move to shortstop this spring. Some scouts also believe his future home might be in centerfield. If there’s one thing the old regime loved: it’s toolsy preps such as Lewis.

Other notes:

Christopher Crawford, who formerly wrote for ESPN, is now posting draft info at Hero Sports. You can read more on both Lewis and Alex Faedo there.

Full draft slots and pick values can be found at Baseball America. It’s a place worth bookmarking.

You can see what’s changed since I wrote up and even earlier draft piece in October.

And going back even further, here’s a link to the Twins Daily Draft Preview of Baseball America’s #1 Prospect, Andrew Benintendi.

The college baseball season kicks off soon. Be sure to check back for updates on your (potentially new) favorite players.

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#2 gunnarthor

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 10:06 AM

Nice.  Still hoping for Faedo to have a big season but Greene is a pretty exciting prospect.  Really hope we can get someone to fall at 35 and 37.


#3 Mike Sixel

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 10:38 AM

Can you be a 5 tool prospect, if you can't make consistent contact? 

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#4 Jeremy Nygaard

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 10:46 AM

 

Can you be a 5 tool prospect, if you can't make consistent contact? 

 

Not sure who you're referencing. But the hit-tool is one of the five tools. So I'd say typically no, but with prospects - and even a guy like Buxton - so much is projection. So, yeah, you can be a five-tool "prospect" even if you don't presently have the tools. You know what I mean?


#5 Mike Sixel

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 10:50 AM

Kendall has serious contact issues from what I read.

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#6 Thrylos

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 11:12 AM

But according to a source in California, Greene touched 102 mph last week and has demonstrated improved command of his entire four-pitch arsenal.

 

That is some news actually :) 

 

Not the 102 mph, but "the 4 pitch arsenal". Last I checked he had the fastball that is a plus pitch, a slurve that is average but he tends to overthrow, and a change up that is horrible.  If he developed a fourth pitch and improved the other 2, he might be an interesting choice...

 

Still plenty of time for the helium to blow off... 

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#7 Jeremy Nygaard

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 11:25 AM

 

That is some news actually :)

 

Not the 102 mph, but "the 4 pitch arsenal". Last I checked he had the fastball that is a plus pitch, a slurve that is average but he tends to overthrow, and a change up that is horrible.  If he developed a fourth pitch and improved the other 2, he might be an interesting choice...

 

Still plenty of time for the helium to blow off... 

 

I hadn't heard much about his slider previously, but he's been working hard.  It's also February, so pitches don't need to be perfect, just look somewhat (potentially) usable. 

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#8 Jeremy Nygaard

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 11:29 AM

 

Kendall has serious contact issues from what I read.

 

He strikes out some that's for sure. He struggled in limited at-bats on the Cape, but did hit .290 for USA Baseball and .332 for Vandy. (Obviously those are just numbers...) It will be interesting to watch him this year.

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#9 Seth Stohs

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 11:31 AM

Like I tweeted yesterday, I'm ready for the Twins to take Hunter Greene right now and get started... I can't wait to see his athleticism and arm take over and just see what he can become. 

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#10 Mike Sixel

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 12:11 PM

I am all over Greene also, though if one of the college pitchers really takes over, that would be cool too. Kendall would have to seriously improve his contact skills for me. 

 

Also, since the Twins are unlikely to ever outbid someone for an ACE, I'm more for the ace. Kendall or another hitter would have to really stand out like Harper or Bryant.

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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#11 Jeremy Nygaard

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 12:32 PM

 

Like I tweeted yesterday, I'm ready for the Twins to take Hunter Greene right now and get started... I can't wait to see his athleticism and arm take over and just see what he can become. 

 

Should be mentioned, too, that Greene is NOT a Boras guy. 

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#12 nicksaviking

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 12:40 PM

 

Should be mentioned, too, that Greene is NOT a Boras guy. 

 

Triple 'Like'.

 

I wonder if there would ever be a HS arm considered the consensus top pick this early in the year and both the team and the player know going in that he'll be the choice so to prevent injury there is a mutual agreement that he doesn't pitch competitively (strenuously?) but instead only does simulated or side sessions working within a throwing program and with an instructor endorsed by the team?

 

Not that I'm suggesting Greene is that guy, just a hypothetical I was thinking about the other day; an already anointed pick, like if Bryce Harper had been a pitcher or Stephen Strausberg had been a high schooler.

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#13 Mike Sixel

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 12:48 PM

 

Triple 'Like'.

 

I wonder if there would ever be a HS arm considered the consensus top pick this early in the year and both the team and the player know going in that he'll be the choice so to prevent injury there is a mutual agreement that he doesn't pitch competitively (strenuously?) but instead only does simulated or side sessions working within a throwing program and with an instructor endorsed by the team?

 

Not that I'm suggesting Greene is that guy, just a hypothetical I was thinking about the other day; an already anointed pick, like if Bryce Harper had been a pitcher or Stephen Strausberg had been a high schooler.

 

Rumor has it either a college or HS guy did that a few years ago, can't recall who it was....

 

edit: wasn't a probable number 1, but it was a top pick, like top 5....I'll see if I can find it.

Edited by Mike Sixel, 06 February 2017 - 12:56 PM.

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#14 Jeremy Nygaard

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 12:52 PM

 

I wonder if there would ever be a HS arm considered the consensus top pick this early in the year and both the team and the player know going in that he'll be the choice so to prevent injury there is a mutual agreement that he doesn't pitch competitively (strenuously?) but instead only does simulated or side sessions working within a throwing program and with an instructor endorsed by the team?

 

I don't think there ever has been. Todd Van Poppel and Josh Beckett are the two most-hyped right-handed pitching prospects that I remember. 

 

I also don't think I'd consider Greene to be the "consensus top pick."  So much projection still...


#15 gunnarthor

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 01:09 PM

Remember a few years ago when Tyler Kolek was extremely hyped HS RH pitching prospect?  A lot of rumors that he'd go #1 overall but Houston took Aiken.  Miami took Kolek, who is no longer on top 100 lists, and the White Sox took Rodon who is going to be a pain in the ass for Twins fans for a decade.  Take the college arm.

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#16 Jeremy Nygaard

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 01:17 PM

 

Remember a few years ago when Tyler Kolek was extremely hyped HS RH pitching prospect?  A lot of rumors that he'd go #1 overall but Houston took Aiken.  Miami took Kolek, who is no longer on top 100 lists, and the White Sox took Rodon who is going to be a pain in the ass for Twins fans for a decade.  Take the college arm.

 

Not a bad call on Kolek. Man, after Rodon didn't go first or second... I was really hoping he'd fall to the Twins. Then the Cubs took some Schwarber guy that wasn't supposed to go Top 10. Nola was my guy from that draft. Hopefully Gordon keeps getting better.

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#17 nicksaviking

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 01:27 PM

 

I don't think there ever has been. Todd Van Poppel and Josh Beckett are the two most-hyped right-handed pitching prospects that I remember. 

 

I also don't think I'd consider Greene to be the "consensus top pick."  So much projection still...

 

I don't think he is either, I thought I was clear on the hypothetical situation. I was just wondering if there happened to be a slam dunk pick if both team and player would agree to preventative measures seeing as how much money is at stake for both parties.


#18 Lonestar

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 01:58 PM

Remember when the Mets took Dwight Gooden at 1-5.
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#19 Thrylos

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 02:04 PM

 

Remember when the Mets took Dwight Gooden at 1-5.

 

And the Twins took the immortal Bryan Oelkers at 1-4...

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#20 LimestoneBaggy

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 02:19 PM

 

And the Twins took the immortal Bryan Oelkers at 1-4...

 

and now I'm depressed....

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