August 18 2012: Prep baseball star Hunter Green, seen here at the Under Armour All-American Baseball Game, held at Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois. Image from tripleplaynewmedia.photoshelter.com
Over the next few days I am going to be looking at some of the players who are thought by many to be a possible selection for the Atlanta Braves, with the 31st pick of the 2013 MLB First Year Player Draft. Today, I am going to be looking at LHP Hunter Green out of Warren East High School. Jim Callis of Baseball America and Matt Garrioch of Minor League Ball both saw Green as a fit for the Braves in various editions of their Mock Drafts.
Green is listed at 6’4″ and 180 pounds on mymlbdraft.com and 6’3″ 160 pounds on Baseball America. This build is great for pitchers and that coupled with his smooth, easy delivery make him a projectable pitcher. He throws a fastball, curveball, and change up.
We have a couple scouting reports on Green–one from March, and another one that was published May 31. The first is from Baseball America:
"Green has a slender, projectable build at 6-foot-3, 160 pounds. Despite his thin frame, he shows interesting athleticism and strength projection. He has a clean, quiet delivery that lulls hitters to sleep a little bit, allowing his 85-88 mph fastball to play up. He touches 90 mph and his fastball has some sinking life to it. Green’s easy delivery allows him to fill up the strike zone and he mixes in a mid-70s curveball and a 78-82 mph changeup with nice sink and fade. Like any high school pitcher, his secondary stuff needs more consistency, but he already shows a good feel for both pitches."
The more recent report comes to us from RedsMinorLeagues.com:
"The left handed pitcher has picked up as the season has gone along, going from upper 80′s to now throwing in the low 90′s and topping out at 95. He has a lower arm slot that gives his fastball movement across the zone. Green has a nice curveball and a change up with nice tumble on it when he throws it properly. Scouts think there is still some projection left with him as well, leaving a lot of upside with Green."
Apparently some of that projection in Green has already started to show, with the velocity of his fastball going from sitting in the high 80’s to sitting in the low 90’s. Like the Reds report mentions, Green does have good life on his fastball and if the movement is still there with the increased speed, he has a great first pitch to build off of. His curveballs seems like a solid secondary pitch and he apparently has a good feel for that and his changeup. Both pitches show good movement at the moment–on video at least.
What will really draw teams to Green is his frame, throwing motion, and projectability which all indicate a high upside for him. At this point it seems like he is closer to a Mike Minor comparison than a Sean Gilmartin. Minor is also 6’4″ whereas Gilmartin is 6’2″ and relies on plus control. Green has better stuff than Gilmartin but could obviously use some developing–both physically and with the control of his pitches.
The one knock on Green is that he is committed to Kentucky and that could effect his signability. Based on the fact that most people haven’t mentioned it at all, and that he is a projected number one pick tell me that it shouldn’t be an issue.
Be sure to stick around for more analysis of the 2013 MLB Draft.