Hunter Green, Left-Handed Pitcher
HT : 6'4
WT : 175 lb.
DOB : July 12, 1995, Bowling Green, KY
Throws : Left
Bats : Left
School : Warren East High School (Bowling Green, KY)
Acquired : Drafted in 2nd round (59th overall) of 2013 June Draft
Stock : Neutral
Cool Notes : Stirrups / Outstanding family / Only prospect with a crayon color as his name
Despite a season of sitting on the disabled list, not many prospects bring excitement like Hunter Green. By the way, we want to say hello to Greg and Judy, so, "Hi!" Green is one of the unique guys in the Angels system, being very well developed coming out of high school, and jumping right into pro ball with the Angels organization. We hope you're as excited as we are about this youngster, who has a ceiling above many.
Green came in to professional baseball with something most teenagers don't have. A low 90's fastball from the left-side of the mound. Most lefties throw in the high 80's, on average, but Green sat 90-92 with consistency and some reports even had him touching 93 at times. His fastball has some good run to it, running away from right-handed bats and jumping inside on lefties. With some physical maturity, Green could see 94-95 in the future with his fastball, which is terrifyingly good for a left-handed pitcher.
When drafted, Green weighed roughly 175 pounds soaking wet. In his first season, after being drafted, and working into the off-season, Green added about 15 pounds of the right weight and looked to add 10 more after that. A back injury took this last season from him, and it was never noted how he got the injury. Whether it was from lifting and adding so much muscle so quickly or not, Green needs to put on a few pounds to become truly effective. He's a tall, lanky guy, at six-foot-four and 180 pounds, but with physical maturity, this kid could really see some refining in the future, taking away any stress on his elbow, and adding velocity and stamina to his game.
When it comes to Green's off-speed pitches, he's truly advanced in every department. He comes equipped with a harsh, sharp breaking curveball. This curve really has outstanding movement and it hard to read out of the hand, despite being an obvious curve, and has more than just swing-and-miss potential but could be a truly remarkable pitch at the end of it's development.
Green has changed the grip on his changeup since being drafted and has worked hard to develop it as a fast pace and make it become a plus pitch. While using it in flat ground and long toss work, and really using it in every scenario possible, Green has matured with his changeup and is learning to use it as more than a "show-me" pitch. He commands it well and can really spot in for strikes when necessary. Green's changeup comes from a two-seam grip and has some true sink and arm-side run to it, making him even more effective against both right and left-handed bats.
Green has some question marks with command and control. He's worked so hard on his changeup that it seems to be something engraved in his head and he can place it wherever he'd like, and for strikes. As for his fastball and curveball, it's a big ol' question mark. He doesn't seem to be erratic or out of control, but it also seems that he doesn't know how to place either pitch all that well just yet. Oh, by the way, he'll be 19-years-old coming into this season, and is very coachable. There's not a whole lot of concern or worries in this department. He'll grow, he'll get experience, and he'll locate his pitches. Pretty simple.
Speaking of simple, Green's mechanics are just so. There's no complexity to it. He works fast and efficiently, staying easy and simple to the plate from a three-quarter arm slot. He's balanced on the mound and finishes strong with a safe and consistent follow through. There isn't a prospect who's as coachable in the Angels system as Green and it's really helped him excel with ease. During his playing time, coaches worked with Green to make his delivery even more simple, as he had some problems leaking on his front side and staying back over the rubber to maintain his velocity. You rarely see him drop his arm slot, and honestly, the kid is just really good mechanically.
According to MaxPreps, Green was one heck of a hitter in high school. Over four years on the varsity club, Green hit a combined .337/.453/.608 slash, with 102 runs scored in 114 games, 76 RBI, 20 doubles, nine triples, 15 home runs and 36 stolen bases, including a senior season that saw a .375/.559/.833 slash, seven home runs and 17 stolen bases.
As a pitcher at Warren East, Green held a 1.56 ERA in 143.2 innings pitched, with a .129 opposing average, and 1.273 WHIP in four years of work (32 games, 28 starts). In his senior season, Green allowed one run in 51.2 innings of work, striking out 110. In total, Green struck out 44.7% of the batters he faced in his high school career. In his senior year, Green held bats to a .096 average and .253 on base percentage. Green struck out 211 batters in 97.1 innings pitched between his senior and junior year for an average of 19.51 per nine.
In his first and only taste of pro ball, Green held a 4.32 ERA, while holding bats to a .254 average and .708 OPS. Left-handed bats held a .111/.304/.111 slash against Green.
Green didn't see any action last year due to a back injury. With that said, he'll be 19 going into this upcoming year, and still has loads of time on his side. The Angels don't have to be aggressive with him and can give him a year in Rookie Ball to develop in either Tempe or Orem.
Green has a great ceiling, all the way to being a #2 or #3 starter in the rotation. His ETA to the Majors was delayed by a year, but we still expect him to be in the show this decade. 2019 seems to be the year that makes the most sense for him to show up on the Angels mound, and as a starter. His changeup still needs to work to keep him a starter, but there's so much upside on his development already, it's nearly a given.
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Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for InsideTheHalos.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.