Prospects, phenoms, etc.

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

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.

“This is exactly the kind of kid we desperately need,” says one major league official. Greene is African-American, arriving at a time when baseball grapples with a dearth of African-American players. At six he started wearing Jackie Robinson’s number 42. At seven he talked with Dan Rather for a piece on AXS-TV about race and his chosen sport. At 13 he won an essay-writing contest that earned him a meeting with Robinson’s daughter, Sharon. Last year he ate lunch on Ventura Boulevard with pal Dave Winfield to discuss the future of baseball. And last month he threw out the first pitch on Opening Day at Ladera Little League, situated in a predominantly African-American neighborhood. After his speech (“Your children are not being drafted today,” he cautioned the parents. “Ice cream after the game always works”), Greene stood at the bottom of the mound on the Majors field, tears under his Aviators. “I get it,” he said, in reference to the responsibility he is about to inherit.

Andy K, Tuesday, 25 April 2017 15:27 (three years ago) link

Reading this, I felt like a talentless tit.

Van Horn Street, Tuesday, 25 April 2017 16:00 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

At a time when little seems normal in the world, this is the setting for the rise of the MLB draft's mystery man, Nick Bitsko.

His spring high school season was canceled before it even started. But he's been rising on some draft boards because he has impressed in Zoom interviews and has been posting videos on social media that show big league-caliber stuff coming out of the hand of a 17-year-old. He hit 98.5 mph last week and delivers some of the advanced pitch data that clubs covet, which he's been measuring in a warehouse in Pennsylvania while getting remote training from a top independent facility over the internet. Still, scouts aren't allowed to watch or talk to him in person.

Andy K, Monday, 1 June 2020 22:30 (six months ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.