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Article: Keith Law On The Twins And The 2017 Draft

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#21 Bob Sacamento

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 02:24 PM

 

The issue I have with the reported Greene's ceiling is that it is "calculated" based on his fastball and "athleticism". The last is not a huge difference maker in baseball, esp. for pitchers.I'd put mechanics over athleticism all day (and night.)His mechanics are dubious at this point.Same with a fastball.Heard some reports that it "can use a bit more movement".If that is the case, it is pretty scary, because, what you can blow past a Private Religious High School player, you likely cannot blow by an average A class player. And looking at Greene's stats he is "dominant" (48 K per 106 batters faced, 12.2 per 9), but not dominant (18 H + 4 BB per 28 IP,= 0.785 WHIP,) based on the level of competition.

Hunter excelled in national showcases against the top HS talent in the country, he was also on Team USA 18U so he's played against the highest levels of competition available to a "Private Religious High School player" and was dominant.  His HS coach also treated him with kid gloves (as he should), never extending him long into games, finishing his pitching season early, so his regular HS season stats are pretty much meaningless in the scouting world.

 

Per BA on Greene:

 

He has an exceptionally athletic delivery with an easy finish, and he pitched mostly at 95-99 throughout the spring of his senior season, with his fastball reaching as high as 102 mph for some scouts, while others had him topping out at 101. He was throwing both a slider and a curveball as a senior, with his slider figuring to be a bigger part of his future. Thrown in the low 80s, the pitch flashes slurvy tilt and earns above-average projections from scouts. He throws all four of his pitches for strikes. Greene has focused on pitching off his fastball and doesn’t have as many reps with his offspeed stuff as a result. He flashes feel for his changeup, which scouts feel comfortable projecting given Greene’s advanced command and athleticism. Greene has massive hands with thick fingers, elements that tend to predict quick changeup growth. Greene was a high-achieving student and scored a 31 on the ACT, a score that ranks among the top three percent of all students taking the test. In the winter prior to his senior spring, he organized a sock drive for the homeless, sending autographed cards of himself to fans who donated socks. Greene was a disciple of Alan Jaeger at seven years old and has specific training techniques that he’s reluctant to stray from at the next level. He long tosses prior to games and actively practices yoga to keep himself flexible and present.

 

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#22 enge0280

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 02:51 PM

 

The issue I have with the reported Greene's ceiling is that it is "calculated" based on his fastball and "athleticism". The last is not a huge difference maker in baseball, esp. for pitchers.I'd put mechanics over athleticism all day (and night.)His mechanics are dubious at this point.Same with a fastball.Heard some reports that it "can use a bit more movement".If that is the case, it is pretty scary, because, what you can blow past a Private Religious High School player, you likely cannot blow by an average A class player. And looking at Greene's stats he is "dominant" (48 K per 106 batters faced, 12.2 per 9), but not dominant (18 H + 4 BB per 28 IP,= 0.785 WHIP,) based on the level of competition.

 

For comparison purposes, Brendan McKay has 0.810 WHIP against major conference opponents this season.100 mph fastball or not. Strikeouts or not (and McKay is striking out 12.4 per 9, a number higher than Greene's.)

 

Let that sink for a while:McKay is about as effective against College hitters and is Greene against Private High School hitters.Plus McKay has 2 other above average pitches (one plus) that Greene does not have.

So, if Greene were to go to College and kept his effectiveness rate up, in 4 years he would be about as effective as McKay in getting hitters out, strikeouts or not, 100 mph fastball or not.

 

For me the choice as is right now, is pretty simple.I did a bit of analysis last week here, comparing the top 4 College pitchers and ranked them, based on their objective numbers as well as subjective "scouting" rankings.The results are very clear.The one factor that was not taken into consideration is sign-ability or how much a bonus they might require, but still...

 

I know that Greene is a great athlete,a great story, has an 100 mph fastball and can strike high school kids out, but I'd rather go with the guy who can get College kids out (and even with strikeouts) at the same rate...

 

And he is a lefty.

 

 

McKay's numbers this year, overall, are outstanding. There are two reasons I am leaning Wright more as of 5/18/17...

1) Wright's last 9 starts are dominant to say the least, while McKay has been more ok during the same time period.

2) McKay's reported drop in velocity over his last 3 starts scares the bejeezus out of me. His last start he was working mostly 88, hitting 90. If he can get back to working 90-94 I am obviously ok with McKay being the pick. I just like Wright's velocity staying strong both throughout the year and throughout his starts.


#23 Sweetwater

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 03:59 PM

Greene. Judging a HS player only by his stats is, uh, not the smartest. Buxton didn't destroy the ball in HS. Should we have passed on him for a "safe college bat who's unlikely to fail entirely"? It's called projection and makeup, history, etc...Greene has shown and possesses more than enough to go 1-1 in this draft. Break the cycle.

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#24 Thrylos

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 04:06 PM

 

Greene. Judging a HS player only by his stats is, uh, not the smartest. Buxton didn't destroy the ball in HS. Should we have passed on him for a "safe college bat who's unlikely to fail entirely"?

 

I don't know about you, but I start thinking that the Twins should had passed on Buxton, based on his performance so far and drafted someone like Corey Seager or Addisson Russell instead.

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#25 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:55 PM

It sounds like Greene is a really fine young man. A kid of some character, good make-up.

Still, with a FB at the velocity he throws it, he should have more strikeouts. And I believe he would, if his FB had good movement.

He has a lot of raw talent, but I'm not sold on him...

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#26 Sconnie

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:30 PM

Good stuff, thanks to Seth and Keith. I wish I weren't traveling for work right now.

#27 T_J

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:54 PM

He’s 17, and I got to interview him a couple of weeks ago. This is an impressive person. It’s an impressive body. You don’t see kids like that. I see kids all the time for the job. I don’t see many kids build like that, athletic like that, loose like that, still projectable and already throwing in the upper-90s.

 

d1b21770caac9cc544d6923fe5ee3910_phrasin

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#28 70charger

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:41 PM

Way too many times he said the word "might" for Hunter Greene. Might Mike Piazza have been nothing but AA filler? Might Brien Taylor or Josh Bullington have been a hall of famer? Or Kohl Stewart?

 

Isn't probability somewhat important?


#29 Steve Lein

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:16 AM

 

Greene. Judging a HS player only by his stats is, uh, not the smartest. Buxton didn't destroy the ball in HS. Should we have passed on him for a "safe college bat who's unlikely to fail entirely"? It's called projection and makeup, history, etc...Greene has shown and possesses more than enough to go 1-1 in this draft. Break the cycle.

 

Buxton hit over .500 his Sr. year, scored nearly 2 runs per game. There was a lot to love about his HS batting line, even if his competition level was low.

 

And I am by no means judging Greene solely on his stat line, but... combine the non-"wow" factor of it with the description from BA cited above that includes the terms/phrases "flashes," "projections," "doesn't have as many reps with his offspeed," "flashes feel," "projecting," "predict" in the span of 7 sentences describing his repertoire, and...I have a lot of reservations.

 

Seems like there are a lot of things that need improvement and to go right for him, including the fact he doesn't have a good secondary offering at this point.

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Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#30 Mike Sixel

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:58 AM

Frankly, I'm glad a 17 year old hasn't thrown a ton of off speed stuff and other pitches that are generally considered worse for your arm. 

 

Pretty much every single HS player is about projection. The way some here are typing, they would never, ever, take a HS player in round 1.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#31 twinsfanstreif

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:04 AM

Do you guys put a lot of stock into the apparent "Tommy John Twist" that Wright does? I read a long article about it and it seems to have legs

#32 gunnarthor

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:28 AM

 

Do you guys put a lot of stock into the apparent "Tommy John Twist" that Wright does? I read a long article about it and it seems to have legs

Generally, no. That's beyond me. I expect that the Twins have scouts and mechanics are a big part of what they are looking at. If they think someone is a future TJ, they'd (hopefully) note that in their reports.

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#33 drivlikejehu

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:30 AM

 

Frankly, I'm glad a 17 year old hasn't thrown a ton of off speed stuff and other pitches that are generally considered worse for your arm. 

 

Pretty much every single HS player is about projection. The way some here are typing, they would never, ever, take a HS player in round 1.

 

Well, change-ups aren't bad for your arm. But in any case, Greene's currently mediocre off-speed stuff is a huge risk factor. A lot of touted HS arms in the past already had a signature out pitch - Cole Hamels and the change-up, Josh Beckett and the curve, etc. 

 

I have nothing against HS picks, I just don't see 1-1 with Greene. In pro ball he'll sit mid-90s, which is fine but nothing that special these days, and very few prospects develop elite off-speed pitches unless they already had a natural feel for it as an amateur. Plus I think Greene is a particularly bad fit for the Twins, given their pitcher development track record - for sure Greene needs a ton of development, even if you like him as a prospect.

 

I'm not a scout, so I don't say what the Twins should do, but passing on Greene makes complete sense.

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#34 Mike Sixel

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:37 AM

 

Do you guys put a lot of stock into the apparent "Tommy John Twist" that Wright does? I read a long article about it and it seems to have legs

 

All anecdotal, from what I've read.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#35 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:13 AM

I don't know about you, but I start thinking that the Twins should had passed on Buxton, based on his performance so far and drafted someone like Corey Seager or Addisson Russell instead.


What about international kids? There's no stats, it's interviews and scouting and projection.

And I think you are underselling the 'athleticism' dynamic. Defining athleticism is two parts, IMO. The physical traits (run fast, jump high, etc), but then there is also the hand-eye coordination portion. I have coached for 16 years and many kids have one of the two components but if you are missing the other and the fatal flaw is exposed. Combine the aptitude and Greene's pedigree and experience and it is a high potential recipe.

But, he could still bust. Championships level teams should take risks, IMO, especially when Twins will NEVER acquire these types via free agency.

#36 Thrylos

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 11:13 AM

 

Championships level teams should take risks, IMO, especially when Twins will NEVER acquire these types via free agency.

 

This might be correct, but the Twins took a similar risk in Stewart and seems that it did not pan out.I just don't trust that group to draft high school pitchers.

 

 

There is another issue also:A College player would a. be able to help the Twins in 1-2 seasons and b. he would be about the same age as the good young core of the team, and with Sano 4 seasons away from free agency, this core might not have the time together to allow a High School kid to be MLB-ready; especially one with one only pitch who might never get MLB-ready, if he does not get at least a couple other plus pitches.  

 

McKay is almost there.Greene might not be ready before the opportunity passes for these Twins.Got to look at the big picture here.

 

If Greene had 2 pitches and was putting video game numbers it would have been a different story; and I don't care whether he looks like Adrian Peterson or like Bartolo Colon.

 

Edited by Thrylos, 19 May 2017 - 11:14 AM.

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#37 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 11:48 AM

I think it's like KLaw said, it's what he'd do. Everyone has a different personal philosophy and I'm not in the McKay camp. I personally believe he is already too close to his ceiling and the projection isn't comparable. Hell likely be in a rotation this time next year, but he may never be more than a number three. I WANT more than that if I have the #1 pick. I like Wright a lot too. He has more room to grow and has competed in the best conference in the NCAA. I just can't be paralyzed by the past or fear of failing. I need to evaluate each prospect on his own merit, not on Becketts or Bundys or even Kohl Stewart's. First rounders bust all the time and I will do all I can to make the best pick I could. At the end of the day, I'm the guy that has always worked on 100% commission and isn't scared to take the risk and bet on myself. In the case for Greene, I have to bet on my evaluation being solid and rolling the dice. As for where I, since no one is asking, I'm for Wright or Greene. If Wright comes at a discount, then I'd go that route. This is a matter of philosophy (College pitcher vs HS pitcher). Lower bust rate, but lower ceiling vs higher bust rate, but high reward. Philosophical differences.
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#38 Deduno Abides

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 12:01 PM

It's not just the projectable talent, it's what the organization thinks it can do with it. All of these young men are projects. Anytime you are going to draft someone and spend six million dollars (or more) on a young man, you have to ask yourself if you have the technology to make him better, stronger, faster.
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#39 Darius

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:07 PM

The Astros model used as an example is great. But that can't always be done.

1) There has to be someone good enough to take at #1 at a discount. You can't just take any schmuk for the sake of paying less.

2). There has be a very good player that you can make a deal with before the draft, and inform a bunch of other teams he won't sign with them in the first round.

I don't think it's as easy as some think, or team would do it every year that there isn't a Strasburg or Harper.

3). If the first two stars align, which isn't likely, then.....and this might be the rub....they have to want to come to Minnesota, instead of San Diego, Miami, etc.

I wouldn't do things like this just to be cute. I'd imagine for every Astros story, there's going to be a story of someone passing a generational talent, getting burned, and looking extremely foolish. Getting the best player at #1, paying the kid, and moving on is going to work out much more often, I would think.

Edited by Darius, 19 May 2017 - 01:13 PM.


#40 Sweetwater

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:49 PM

 

Buxton hit over .500 his Sr. year, scored nearly 2 runs per game. There was a lot to love about his HS batting line, even if his competition level was low.

 

And I am by no means judging Greene solely on his stat line, but... combine the non-"wow" factor of it with the description from BA cited above that includes the terms/phrases "flashes," "projections," "doesn't have as many reps with his offspeed," "flashes feel," "projecting," "predict" in the span of 7 sentences describing his repertoire, and...I have a lot of reservations.

 

Seems like there are a lot of things that need improvement and to go right for him, including the fact he doesn't have a good secondary offering at this point.

Nothing I've read about Wright suggests he should be clearly ahead of Greene. He also has flaws in his delivery and doesn't have a devastating out pitch. He's also 3-4 years older than Greene. Greene can get Professional coaching at 17 to correct and develop him. His ceiling is much higher, simply put. And, IMO, his floor isn't much lower.

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