With the second pick in this year's draft, the Reds took highly-touted and extremely-hyped high school start Hunter Greene, from Sherman Oaks, California. Greene has been one of the most-talked about prospects in years, a two-way star whose potential has been termed "limitless."
Below are some videos, a Sports Illustrated cover story, what scouts are saying, and a SportsCenter profile...
Lee Jenkins wrote this Sports Illustrated cover story...
Hunter Greene stands 6' 4" and 210 pounds, hits baseballs 450 feet, throws them 102 mph and gloves them just about anywhere left of second base. When he steps to the plate in batting practice, outfielders shout warnings to the soccer players working out on the adjacent football field, lest they take unexpected headers. At 17, Greene has sent balls out of Petco Park in San Diego and Wrigley Field in Chicago, which is not to imply that he simply deposited them over the fence with a souped-up metal bat. No, he put them out of the stadium completely, with nothing but muscle and wood. Greene began playing in spikes on 90-foot bases when he was seven. The Dodgers’ area scout met him during a pitching lesson when he was nine, deeming his throwing mechanics flawless. Radar guns clocked him at 93 mph when he was 14, the same year UCLA and USC offered him scholarships, well aware that he probably wouldn’t ever step on campus because his draft stock was already so high.
Not only did Greene start at shortstop for Notre Dame as a freshman, but coach Tom Dill also called him the best infielder he’d ever worked with, a list that includes big league vet Brendan Ryan. At 15, Greene was the state player of the year and a centerpiece of the 18-and-under national team, conducting pregame meditation for the group on bus rides through Japan. Greene does yoga with a private instructor three times a week. He dabbles in Korean. He wonders if he could ever play “The Star-Spangled Banner” on his violin before taking the field. He listens to hip-hop, mainly Travis Scott, but he’s also kind of country: He owns a dozen Bass Pro Shop hats and casts into Castaic Lake. He spends free periods painting with Joseph Lee, his AP studio art teacher; bright colors and bold images are Greene’s trademarks. “I’m trying to get more opaque,” he says, revealing a recent canvas. He launched a sock drive this winter for the homeless in downtown Los Angeles, after reading an article about a shortage, then handed out 2,300 pairs on Skid Row. He has received four certificates of recognition from L.A.-area politicians for his community service efforts. He delivered his first speech promoting youth baseball when he was eight, from a stepstool at Industry Hills Golf Club, and he spoke on a Pitch Smart panel about limiting arm injuries among young players at last year’s All-Star Game alongside John Smoltz and Jack Morris.
From ESPN's Keith Law...
He's the best prospect in the draft class and one of the most gifted teenage players I've ever seen. But even I think the weight of these expectations is unreasonable. It's hard enough to be a big leaguer; it's harder still to play as both a position player and a pitcher, which is something Greene wants to continue doing. On top of that will come the added pressure of being a high-profile African-American prospect in a sport that faces ongoing questions about whether it's doing enough to attract young Americans of color to the playing fields.
Where his talent warrants is very high indeed.
Greene already has 93-98 MPH fastball, the pitch earning 70 grades due to the combination of velocity and movement. He generates the heat with little effort and given his youth and build, even more velocity is possible as he matures. He already has a plus curveball and commands it better than most pitchers his age. His change-up is not as refined as the first two pitches but should be at least MLB average in time and very possibly plus.
With proper development he projects three plus pitches with impressive command, making him a top-of-the-rotation arm. Add in the intangibles and comparisons to Dwight Gooden or even Bob Gibson are not out of bounds if you want to dream and don’t believe in jinxes. Greene is also a top prospect as a hitter with 55 or 60 power and at least average pure hitting ability. His weakest tool is running speed but despite that he has the tools needed to be an above-average defensive shortstop, including the requisite instincts and quickness. If he outgrew shortstop he would look excellent at third base or right field.
To this point, there seems to be no limit to what Greene can do on the baseball field. As a rising high school senior, Greene makes everything he does appear effortless.
But Hunter Greene’s life has been far from effortless. In fact, Greene has become one of the nation’s best prospects through a series of
trials early on in his life. Greene hasn’t succeeded in spite of his challenges; he’s succeeded because of them. As the final summer of his childhood winds down, Greene is prepared for anything. At 17 years old, he’s a man. A man with an answer to every question. A man with a remedy for every ailment. A man with a solution to every problem.