Get To Know Top Prospect: Hunter Greene, RHP/SS, Notre Dame High (Sherman Oaks, CA)
With a record of 59-103, the Minnesota Twins finished with the worst record in baseball, as well as their worst in franchise history. The upside of being this bad is that the Twins will have the first overall pick in the 2017 First Year Player Draft.
The Twins hired Derek Falvey as their chief baseball officer, and if he continues the Indians approach in Minnesota it would be to look for youth and ceiling. Hunter Greene has both. He will still be 17 on draft day and projects out as both a shortstop and starting pitcher, but his ceiling is highest on the mound. He has shown two potential plus pitches with a curveball and a live fastball ranging between 94-96 but can touch the upper 90s. On upside alone, there might not be a better player in this class.
We are pleased that Hunter was willing to take time to answer some questions for Talking Twins.
Darrell Yates (DY) You are considered the best prep pitching prospect, as well as the best SS prospect in the upcoming draft. If you could only play one position for the rest of your career, which would it be and why?
Hunter Greene (HG) I am not sure, I think it is too early for me to make this decision especially at the age of seventeen, I love doing both and they come so easy for me. But, I believe when the time comes I’ll know what I want to do and the ball club will know as well. At the end of the day, I’m going to trust the ball club that drafts me. I know they will know the best route to take in order to get me to the big leagues and win a world series. I’m used to winning and I’ve been an impact player at every level and every team I’ve been a part of, so I’m going to continue to trust the process and do what’s best for the team and my teammates. I love doing both and would be grateful just to contribute.
(DY) When did you start playing baseball? Was there someone who inspired you to play ball?
(HG) I started playing baseball at the age of six when my dad first taught me how to hit off the tee. My dad and my friends inspired me to keep playing the game. I’ve enjoyed all the travels and friendships along the way and it’s those friendships and relationships with the fans that have continued to motivate me. Baseball is the best sport in the world that not only teaches teamwork but how to handle failure and still be successful at the same time. Kinda like how life seems to be.
(DY) You’re a top prospect for two positions (SP/SS). Which other sports are you interested in?
(HG) I enjoying throwing the football and running routes with my friends, as well as shooting hoops at the park. Other than that, I have not played any other sports through an organized organization but I think I would make a great quarterback. You should look on my Twitter from North Carolina where I throw a perfect pass from about 40 yards into a basketball hoop. It was a touchdown, strike and a three pointer all in one! Haha.
(DY) Do you have a favorite team and/or player?
(HG) I have several teams that I like but what I like the most are great ballparks with amazing fans who are supportive of their players. Nothing is more exciting than going to a packed stadium where the fans are all decked out in fan gear and they stay for all 9 innings. That’s the type of ball club I’ve always dreamed to play for and those are the type of teams I like. As for Minnesota, Minnesota is that type of place and I know the fan base is electric. I’ve also had the pleasure of playing at Target field when I was 13 years old playing up with the 15 year olds. I won a championship on the field beating the Dominican Republic 2-1 in the Junior RBI World Series. In that game I played 3rd base. I have a lot of favorite players but my favorite Minnesota Twins’ players are Torii Hunter, Kirby Puckett and Rod Carew. I never met Mr. Puckett but I have meet Mr. Hunter and Mr. Carew who have both been very nice to me.
(DY) What’s been your favorite high school baseball moment?
(HG) My favorite high school baseball moment was knocking Loyola High School out of 1st place and winning the Mission League title! It was great helping the seniors in their last year of high school baseball accomplish a championship before they moved on.
(DY) At what point in your life did you realize that baseball could turn into a professional career?
(HG) I realized that baseball could turn into a professional career my sophomore year when I was throwing 92-93 mph and I was hitting homeruns over 400 feet.
(DY) What areas would you like to improve on prior to the 2017 draft?
(HG) There is always room for improvement but I am really focusing on my ability to steal more bags and get into scoring position without having someone hit me over. I’m also looking to strengthen my leadership skills with the younger guys on my team who I think are going to be even better next year. When I was a freshman, I had really good mentors who took me in as the starting shortstop and I want to motivate those younger guys and make them better like it was modeled for me.
(DY) What is your favorite baseball movie?
(HG) My favorite baseball movie is “Major League” and my favorite character is Willie Mays Hayes. I also really like Bull Durham.
(DY) My favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. With the holiday season upon us, what is your favorite holiday?
(HG) My favorite holiday is also Thanksgiving because I enjoy coming together as family and being thankful for all that God has done for us. Not to mention, I’m a huge fan of stuffing and pumpkin pie.
I really want to thank Hunter Greene for taking the time to answer a few questions for Talking Twins.
There’s still six months before the Twins make their selection but Greene’s exemplary athleticism and two-way potential give him a chance to establish himself as a potential top pick. Regardless of which team he’s selected by, it certainly looks like he has a bright future in baseball—either as a pitcher or shortstop.
Happy Holidays and Go Twins!