Minnesota Twins: Not Drafting Hunter Greene Would Be a Mistake

January 14, 2017; Tempe, AZ, USA; High school pitcher Hunter Greene during the USA Baseball sponsored Dream Series at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
January 14, 2017; Tempe, AZ, USA; High school pitcher Hunter Greene during the USA Baseball sponsored Dream Series at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Twins have the first pick in the MLB Draft. The top player in the draft is considered by many to be Hunter Greene. The Twins need to get him.

The Minnesota Twins have the first pick in the MLB Draft, which begins June 12th. The Twins have two prospects linked to them, Hunter Greene and Brendan McKay. Greene is a pitcher and shortstop currently playing high school ball in Los Angeles. McKay is a pitcher and first baseman out of Louisville.

Recent reports have pointed to the Twins leaning towards drafting McKay over Greene. Not only that, but it is said they are looking at as many as seven choices at number one. The problem is, the Twins are finding every reason not to draft Greene, which is concerning.

Greene has wowed scouts with his fastball that reaches 102 mph and his ability to hit balls as far as 450 feet. For a 17-year-old, that is nothing short of amazing. He has been covered by Sports Illustrated, compared to some of the greatest athletes of all time, and is at the top of almost everyone’s draft board. There are not too many reasons to pass him up.

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They shouldn’t draft someone more “major league ready”.

Greene is six foot, four inches tall and weighs in at 210 pounds. That is a big kid that is still developing physically. He is also still developing in almost every other aspect. At 17 years old, Greene is a canvas that the team that drafts him can create an incredible masterpiece on. His potential for greatness should not be overlooked.

If the Twins are drafting for now, they are doing it wrong. They have stars in the making all over the organization. Miguel Sano is the new face of a young gun franchise that has been good at the the start of 2017. Sano, along with Byron Buxton, Jose Berrios and Max Kepler have become a solid core for the Twins to build on.

Not to mention the prospects in their farm system. Especially No. 1 Twins prospect Nick Gordon, who has the potential to be an All Star middle infielder. The Twins are not hurting for players to develop now. The reason for drafting McKay would be his college experience and faster track to the bigs because he is more developed. That is a mistake.

Hunter Greene is as highly-touted as, if not more than, Bryce Harper. Harper was drafted in 2010, and was in the majors by 2012. He, too, was drafted at the age of 17. He has turned out wonderfully for the Washington Nationals. Not to mention, he was not highly coveted as both a pitcher and a position player like Greene is. Greene is more versatile, which is quite the achievement.

Hunter Greene is the best bet in the draft.

Greene may just be in high school, but he has shown he can produce. The prep star has hit balls out of both Wrigley Field and Petco Park. He had a 3-0 record to go along with a 0.75 ERA his senior season of high school ball. He struck out 43 batters in 28 innings of work. In 28 games at the plate, he hit six home runs and drove 28 runs to go along with his .347 average.

Harper got his acclaim from his time in high school. He played one year at a junior college and was still able to get picked first overall and be in the majors by age 19. Greene can do the same. McKay, while impressive at Louisville, does not have as high of a ceiling as Greene.

McKay is a college prospect, giving him the edge in readiness. That is about all he has on Greene. McKay’s stats were impressive in college. He had an 8-3 record to go along with a stellar 1.80 ERA. He also had 110 strikeouts in 80 innings.

At the plate, McKay excelled too. He hit .366 with 15 home runs and 46 RBIs over 175 at bats. While he played well in college and is sure to make a good major league ballplayer, he does not have the upside that Greene does. Also, McKay is four years older than Greene. That is another reason why Greene’s abilities are so impressive.

He will reward the team that drafts him.

While Brendan McKay has been impressive in college and is more major league ready, Hunter Greene has the highest ceiling of any prospect in recent memory. He is young and has the raw skills that can be molded into something great.

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Greene is a special prospect and the organization who gets him has the opportunity to make him one of the best ever. He has been compared to Babe Ruth, which is not to be taken lightly. The Twins will be a kicking themselves down the road if they don’t take him, no matter how good the person they draft instead ends up. In short, the Twins need to take the best on the board and that is Hunter Greene.