It took long enough, but the Angels finally made their first pick in the 2013 Amateur Draft. We had to wait, but it was worth it as the Halos came up with a bit of a surprise in that they selected a high school player after focusing so heavily on the college ranks in Dipoto's first draft and much of scouting director Ric Wilson's career.
The kid they thought was worth breaking their usual line of thinking for was a tall, lanky southpaw from Kentucky by the name of Hunter Green, who is now your new favorite Angel prospect!
I'm not going to sit here and pretend I have any kind of personal opinion on Green since I am not a scout nor do I pretend to be one on the internet. What I can tell you is that all the prospect gurus were of the general consensus that Green was a player that could very well have gone in the first round. He ranked between the early-thirties and the mid-fifties on most of the top 100 prospect lists from various outlets.
That seems like a pretty good value for the Halos who really needed to make the most of their pick since they forfeited their first rounder when they signed Josh Hamilton. They clearly felt the best way to do that was to roll the dice on a youngster with a high ceiling rather than taking less risky college players like they have with their high picks in recent years.
It will be interesting to see if that philosophy continues throughout the rest of the draft as the Angels badly need to re-stock their farm system with both high-end talent as well as talent that can reach the majors quickly. As you will see with the various scouting reports I've provided below, Green definitely falls into the first description of being a high ceiling guy, but one that has a lot of work to do before he is even remotely close to being ready for the bigs.
A lanky lefty from the Kentucky high school ranks, Green interests some because of his projectable body and stuff.
His fastball will touch the low 90s at times and it's easy to see more velocity coming as he physically matures. While he's had some delivery issues that impact his control and command, they seem correctable. That should help him throw his sharp, biting curve more consistently to go along with his sinking changeup.
It's all about projection for the southpaw, but a team that thinks Green can fulfill his potential will be interested in taking him early on in the Draft.
From SB Nation:
Left-handed pitcher Hunter Green is one of the youngest players entering the 2013 MLB draft, making him an exciting pitcher with plenty of projectability, but one far away from making an impact at the major-league level.
Green's best pitch is his fastball, as his off-speed pitches need some work. The starter is still growing into his body, which makes some scouts hopeful that he can add more velocity as he continues to mature. The 17-year-old also needs to work on his command, but any team that selects the starter will give him plenty of opportunities to improve.
The southpaw is committed to the University of Kentucky, so he does have the option of joining the college ranks if he does not come to an agreement with whatever team drafts him.
From Baseball Prospectus:
Green is a projectable lefty who has already seen his velocity climb to mid-90s at times this spring, and there is a chance for him to discover even more as he continues to hang bulk on his long, broad frame. The Kentucky commit utilizes a simple step-in to kick off his motion and creates arm speed through good shoulder/hip separation. He gets good extension out of his long legs and arms, helping his fastball to jump on hitters. There is some cleanup to be done in his tempo and balance, each of which can lead to inconsistent strides and release points, and occasional fall-off to his glove side.
While he boasts three pitches with average or better potential, and enough room in his stuff to see each grow into true plus offerings, his control and execution lag behind his pure stuff. Green’s profile as a projectable lefty with a chance to sport plus velocity to go with two quality secondaries should be in high demand later this week, and the Blue Grass standout could come off the board as early as the first round.
With his lanky, projectable, athletic frame, Green’s talent was evident a year ago, when he ranked only as the second-best high school pitching prospect in the state at the time. With a more mature, confident approach to pitching, along with better command of his raw stuff, the 6-foot-4, 180-pound Green has leap-frogged Woodford County High right-hander Clint Hollon, along with every other prospect in Kentucky, to emerge as a potential first-rounder in this year’s draft. Green had a shaky outing in unusually rough weather in his first appearance of the 2013 season, but got progressively better and didn’t allow a run in his next eight starts while compiling a 3-1, 0.15 record overall, along with 30 walks and 101 strikeouts in 46 innings. A lack of run support has cost him several wins. Unable to throw strikes consistently a year ago, Green has pounded the zone more routinely this spring with a fastball that has ranged anywhere from 87-95 mph, and gets good arm-side run coming from a low three-quarters angle. He also has demonstrated better feel for his sharp, biting curve and sinking changeup, though still needs to work out some wrinkles in his delivery that impact his command of those pitches. His arm works extremely free and easy, however, and Green profiles as a left-handed starter with plus pitchability.
Green has been wildly inconsistent this year, looking like a first-rounder some outings and a borderline prospect in others, making him a sort of lottery pick where if your number comes up, you get an elite prospect.
He has been up to 95 mph this spring (and sometimes has pitched in the 80s), with 90-93 more typical, showing good two-seam life on the pitch. His changeup flashes above-average at 80-82 with hard fading action, while his breaking ball is slurvy at 75-80, sometimes a true curve with some two-plane action, but often just flipped out of his hand for an easy chase pitch against high school hitters. His delivery is a little rough, drifting off the rubber early, with a moderate stride and some occasional head violence, but he turns his arm over early and finishes well out front.
He is extremely projectable, and a lefty with this kind of room to fill out who has already shown plus velocity is very intriguing, but he'll need to throw more strikes and develop that breaking ball further.
Video of Green from MLB.com:
Video of Green pitching from Baseball Factory:
And finally, you can follow Hunter on Twitter.
Well I'm an Angel! twitter.com/hunterbgreen1/…— Hunter Green (@hunterbgreen1) June 7, 2013
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I really can't believe they selected a high school player. With a farm system this gutted and in need of pitching, it seems like they would select a college-level pitcher who was closer to major league ready.
That being said, its highly possible with the 72nd pick that kind of pitcher just wasn't available anymore. Let's hope he signs!