Hunter Greene was chosen with the No. 2 overall pick in the Major League Baseball Draft on Monday night by the Cincinnati Reds.
Here are some things to know about him:
School: Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
Why he’s a top prospect: Greene is the most ballyhooed high school prospect in years, and for good reasons. As a right-handed pitcher his fastball usually sits in the mid-90s, but has topped out in triple digits. He also possesses a plus curveball and some analysts believe a slider could eventually be his best out pitch. As a fielder, his athleticism makes him a worthy shortstop prospect, though he claims that he would like to play as a center fielder to make the most of his arm strength and accuracy.
The numbers: Following a junior season in which he hit .419 with 20 runs, 20 RBI and five HR, Greene finished down a bit in average but up in power: .324 with 22 runs, 28 RBI and six HR. On the mound as a senior, he was 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 28 innings pitched before being shut down to conserve his arm, given his pro career ahead. As a junior, he had a 1.63 ERA and 5-3 record in 55.2 innings.
The SI cover: Greene became just the second high school pitcher to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated and is among the rare high school athletes in any sport to earn that distinction.
The firepower: Greene has been clocked as high as 102 mph, seemingly effortlessly. According to Sports Illustrated, he was clocked at 93 mph at 14 when he was offered scholarships by UCLA and USC. He is a UCLA commit, but there is virtually no chance that he bypasses signing to attend college.
Influence in the community: Greene first attended Major League Baseball’s Urban Youth Academy in Compton when he was 7 and is considered a potential star role model in baseball’s efforts to reverse the scarcity of African-American players, especially pitchers.
Earlier this year, he addressed the roughly 250 players and their parents in the Ladera Little League in the Los Angeles area as well as some of the teens whom he has played with on travel ball teams. The Ladera Little League is primarily made up of African-American players and has been a staple in the community for more than 50 years. “This is something for the kids to be able to see that this is real — you can go from being a young black kid and become the potential No. 1 draft pick,” league treasurer Tina Backstrom told USA TODAY Sports.
Contributing: Cam Smith and Josh Barnett