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June 2017
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‘MLB’ Articles

Reds’ select Two-Way player Hunter Greene in 2017 MLB Draft

Cincinnati Reds Senior Director of Amateur Scouting Chris Buckley recently announced the selection of RHP/SS Hunter Greene (6’3″, 195) from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA with the team’s first pick (2nd overall) of the 2017 first-year player draft.

The Reds also selected their second and third players with overall picks 32 (in competitive balance lottery round A) and 38 (2nd round).

“We do not see prospects like this very often,” said Dick Williams, President of Baseball Operations, General Manager. “The physical talent is special, but he also exhibits great intangibles. We enjoyed getting to know Hunter and his family during this process. His parents should be very proud of the job they have done. We are excited for the opportunity to bring him into our organization.”

Greene, 17, in his career at Notre Dame High School posted a 1.62 ERA over 121.1 innings pitched while striking out 30 percent of the batters he faced. As a senior, he was 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA over 5 appearances, collecting 43 strikeouts with just 4 walks over 28.0 innings pitched. At the plate, he hit .324 with 6 home runs, 28 RBI, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 23 runs scored, a .374 on-base percentage and a .598 slugging percentage.

This year, Greene has been ranked the No. 1 draft prospect by both’s Top 200 Draft Prospects and Baseball America’s Top 200 MLB Draft Prospects.

“Hunter is an extremely athletic and very talented high school prospect who has been on the scene for many years,” Buckley said. “He is a 2-way prospect who has shown an advanced feel for pitching, significant raw power with the bat and very good fielding ability.”

Prior to the season, Greene was named a Rawlings Perfect Game First Team All-American and to the California All-Region First Team. He attended the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, CA, hit .419 as a junior and went 5-3 on the mound with a 1.63 ERA over 55.2 innings pitched.

SS Kurt Stillwell (1983) and INF Nick Senzel (2016) selected with the second overall picks, are the only other players to be drafted that high by the Reds.




MLB suspends Dodgers’ minor league pitcher Jair Jurrjens

Jair Jurrjens (courtesy

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball has announced that Los Angeles Dodgers Minor League right-handed pitcher Jair Jurrjens, who is currently on the roster of the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers of the Pacific Coast League, has received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for exogenous Testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.





Reds’ utilityman Scooter Gennett named NL Player of the Week

Scooter Gennett in field 2017 By NewJack984 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett has been named the National League Player of the Week for the period ending June 11th.

Other players worthy of the award included starting pitcher Robbie Ray (2-0, 0.68 ERA, 13.1 IP, 23 SO) made two excellent starts for the Arizona Diamondbacks this past week. In Sunday’s contest against the Milwaukee Brewers, Ray logged 12 strikeouts, recording 10-or-more strikeouts for the third consecutive start. The 25-year-old became the first D-backs pitcher since Hall of Famer Randy Johnson in 2004 to reach 10 strikeouts in three consecutive outings. Other noteworthy performances last week included Scooter’s teammate Joey Votto (.407, 8 R, 4 HR, 6 RBI); last week’s winner Charlie Blackmon (.435, 11 R, 6 XBH, 6 RBI), and infielder Mark Reynolds (.500, 3 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI) of the Colorado Rockies; and starting pitcher Max Scherzer (1-1, 1.26 ERA, 14.1 IP, 24 SO) of the Washington Nationals, who became the third-fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach 2,000 strikeouts.

In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Scooter Gennett will be awarded a watch courtesy of Rockwell.

Gennett batted .500 (10-for-20) with six runs scored, two doubles, four home runs, 13 RBI and a stolen base to earn his first career NL Player of the Week Award. On Tuesday, the 27-year-old recorded the first four-home run game in Reds franchise history, and became just the 17th player to reach the milestone in MLB history. Among NL leaders, Scooter finished the week first in total bases (24), RBI and slugging percentage (1.200); tied for first in batting average and home runs; tied for second in extra-base hits (6); tied for fifth in hits; and sixth in on-base percentage (.500). This is Cincinnati’s first weekly award since Todd Frazier took home weekly honors on May 31, 2015.

Gennett began his award-winning week in historic fashion on Tuesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals, logging the first four-homer game in the Majors since Josh Hamilton accomplished the feat for the Texas Rangers on May 6, 2012 at Baltimore. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Cincinnati-born Gennett became the first player in MLB history to post five hits, four home runs and 10 RBI in a single game. Of the 17 players to blast four round-trippers in a single game, Gennett’s 10 RBI are second-most, trailing only Mark Whitten, who plated 12 runs during his historic night on September 7, 1993. In addition, Gennett and Whitten are the only players in history to include a grand slam in their four-homer contest. The left-handed-swinging infielder became the sixth player in history to homer in four consecutive plate appearances, joining Hall of Famers Lou Gehrig and Mike Schmidt, as well as Rocky Colavito, Mike Cameron and Carlos Delgado. The five-year veteran joined Anthony Rendon of the Washington Nationals as the only players this season to produce 10 RBI in a single contest. Only in June, the 2017 season is already the first since 1920 (when RBI became an official MLB statistic) in which more than one player has posted a 10-RBI game. Scooter enters play today in the midst of a five-game hitting streak after recording a hit in each game during his historic week, and has raised his batting average by 35 points from .270 to .305.




Yankees’ Aaron Judge named AL Player of the Week

Aaron Judge swinging bat 2016 By Arturo Pardavila on Flickr, https

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending June 11th.

In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Aaron Judge will be awarded a watch courtesy of Rockwell.

Judge posted a slash line of .500/.600/1.000 with 10 runs scored, three doubles, three home runs and six RBI over six games to earn his first career AL Player of the Week Award, and the first for a Yankees position player since his teammate Gary Sánchez claimed weekly honors last season for the week ending August 28th. Among AL leaders, Aaron finished the period first in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs scored and total bases (24); tied for first in hits and extra-base hits (6); tied for second in walks (6); and tied for third in doubles and home runs.

On Tuesday night against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, the 25-year-old slugger logged two hits to extend his career-long hitting streak to nine games. During his hot stretch, Judge slashed .382/.488/.765 with 13 hits, eight runs scored, four doubles, three home runs, 11 RBI, seven walks and a stolen base. In Saturday’s home tilt against the Baltimore Orioles, Judge, the AL’s leading vote-getter for the 2017 All-Star Game, went 3-for-4 with a double, home run and three RBI to lead New York to a 16-3 victory. The 16 runs scored were the most in a game for the Yankees since tallying 16 runs against the Houston Astros last season on April 6th. In Aaron’s final game during his award-winning week, the two-time 2017 AL Rookie of the Month (April, May) posted the first four-hit game of his career, including four runs scored, a double, two home runs and three RBI. The 32nd overall selection in the 2013 MLB Draft became the first Yankees player age 25-or-younger to hit 20 home runs before the All-Star break since Roger Maris accomplished the feat during his MVP-winning season in 1960. Judge, who paces the AL in batting average (.344), home runs (21) and RBI (47), became the youngest player (25 years, 46 days) in Yankee lore to go 4-for-4 with two-or-more homers since Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle (24, 211) on May 18, 1956. Led by their star outfielder, the Yankees went 6-0 during his torrid week and enter play today atop the AL East at 37-23 (.617).

Sánchez (.346, 9 R, 4 HR, 13 RBI) was also impressive last week for New York. The 24-year-old backstop recorded a hit in each of his six contests, including his fifth career multi-homer outing (87th career game) on Thursday. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mark McGwire is the only player in the Modern Era to have reached five multi-homer games faster (84). Mike Moustakas (.423, 6 R, 6 XBH, 9 RBI) of the Kansas City Royals was integral in his club registering four wins last week. Since the calendar flipped to June, the 2015 AL All-Star is slashing .395/.415/.816 with nine runs scored, four doubles, four home runs and 12 RBI. Other noteworthy performances included Aaron and Gary’s teammate Starlin Castro (.417, 8 R, 3 HR, 10 RBI) and Houston’s Mike Fiers (2-0, 1.46 ERA, 12 SO).




MLB completes 2017 Draft

Major League Baseball today completed its 2017 Draft, with a total of 1,215 players being chosen in the 40 rounds and two Competitive Balance rounds. The Draft resumed in the 11th round via conference call this afternoon after Tuesday’s completion of rounds three through 10.

Pitchers were the most frequently chosen players, with 660 being selected (472 RHP, 188 LHP). The rest of the 2017 pool was comprised of 246 infielders (including 100 shortstops, 61 third basemen, 42 second basemen, 37 first basemen and six utility infielders), 205 outfielders, 99 catchers and five utility players.

Four schools – Chipola College, Stanford University, the University of Michigan and the University of Texas at Austin – had 11 players selected, tied for the most in the Draft. Clemson University and Florida State University each had nine players selected, while nine schools produced eight different players, including Cal State Long Beach, Fresno State University, Louisiana State University, North Carolina State University, the University of Florida, the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, the University of California at Santa Barbara and Wake Forest University.

Players were selected from 46 states, with Idaho, Maine, North Dakota and Vermont being the states to not produce a draft selection. The states that had the most players selected were California (192), Florida (135), Texas (123), Georgia (56), Illinois (55), North Carolina (44), New York (40), Arizona (35), Pennsylvania (34) and Washington (33). Fifty draft-eligible foreign-born players were selected in the 40 rounds, including 28 players from Puerto Rico; 19 players from Canada; and one player each from Australia, Panama and the Virgin Islands.

The Minnesota Twins selected JSerra Catholic High School shortstop Royce Lewis with the first overall pick in the Draft. Lewis was the second shortstop taken with the first overall selection in the last three years, joining Dansby Swanson, who was the top selection in 2015.

Four players who were in attendance at Studio 42 on Monday night were selected in the opening round, including Notre Dame High School (CA) right-handed pitcher Hunter Greene, who was selected second overall by the Cincinnati Reds; Ballard High School (KY) outfielder Jordon Adell, who was taken 10th overall by the Los Angeles Angels; Carlsbad High School (NM) left-handed pitcher Trevor Rogers, who was drafted 13th overall by the Miami Marlins; and McGill-Toolen High School (AL) outfielder Bubba Thompson, who was the 26th overall selection by the Texas Rangers.

Eight of the top 26 selections in the Draft (30.8%) were African-American or Latino, including Lewis; Greene; Adell; Alex Faedo (18th overall, DET); Heliot Ramos (19th overall, SF), who is an alumnus of MLB’s Elite Development Program in Puerto Rico; Jeren Kendall (23rd overall, LAD); Seth Romero (25th overall, WSH); and Thompson. With shortstop Jeter Downs selected 32nd overall, six of the top 32 selections (18.8%) were African-American. The 2017 Draft marked just the third time in the last 30 years that African-American players were selected with the first two picks of the Draft, joining 1991 (Brien Taylor – 1, Mike Kelly – 2) and 2003 (Delmon Young – 1, Rickie Weeks – 2). Additionally, it was the first time three African-American players have been selected in the top 10 since 1992, when Jeffrey Hammonds (4th overall), Derek Jeter (6th overall), Calvin Murray (7th overall), Preston Wilson (9th overall) and Michael Tucker (10th overall) were drafted.

Among the alumni of MLB’s Youth Academy network who were drafted were Greene and Ernie De La Trinidad (19th round, ARI), each of whom attended the Compton, California Youth Academy. R.J. Barnes, who was selected by the Reds in the 34th round, became the first alumnus of the P&G Cincinnati MLB Youth Academy to be drafted.

Among the alumni of MLB’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Program selected in the Draft were Greene (Venice Boys & Girls Club RBI); Gio Arriera (Miami Marlins RBI, 4th round, DET); Joseph Jarneski (Nobu Yamauchi RBI, 12th round, TEX), who was the first player ever drafted out of Hawaii’s RBI Program; Isaiah Henry (Houston Astros RBI, 14th round, KC); Donivan Williams (Chicago White Sox RBI, 14th round, STL); Barnes (Cincinnati Reds RBI), who was the first player ever drafted out of Cincinnati’s RBI Program; Ronell Coleman (Chicago White Sox RBI, 34th round, DET); David Vazquez (Miami Marlins RBI, 37th round, ARI); and Angelo Smith (Chicago White Sox RBI, 40th round, CWS).

In addition, the following drafted players participated in either an Elite Development Invitational (EDI), a Breakthrough Series (BTS) or the “Dream Series,” all joint initiatives of MLB and USA Baseball: Greene (2015 EDI and Dream Series); Thompson (2016 BTS); Cal Mitchell (2016 BTS, 2nd round, PIT); Canaan Smith (2016 BTS, 4th round, NYY); Je’von Ward (2015 EDI, 12th round, MIL); Henry (2016 BTS); Antoine Mistico (2016 EDI, 14th round, DET); Christian Santana (2016 BTS, 15th round, MIL); Marlin Willis (2015 EDI, 18th round, KC); Cordell Dunn (2016 EDI, 19th round, TOR); Myles McKisic (Dream Series, 23rd round, TEX); Barnes (2016 BTS and 2016 EDI); Darren Baker (2015 BTS, 27th round, WSH); Andres Santana (2016 BTS, 29th round, HOU); Vazquez (2016 BTS); Jose Garcia (2016 EDI, 38th round, BOS); Jordan Anderson (2015 and 2016 BTS, 40th round, TEX); and Smith (2016 BTS).

Sixty-seven players who participated in 2017 events for the joint Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) program by MLB and USA Baseball were selected during the 2017 Draft (full list accompanies this press release). The 67 players represent 54% of all draft-eligible PDP participants in 2017. The structure of the voluntary program provides a streamlined, official identification and assessment pathway service for elite high school age athletes to maximize their exposure to MLB Clubs and their scouts by conducting regionalized, professional workouts where they can be evaluated. At each PDP event, players undergo a unique athletic assessment consisting of sport performance vision screening, swing analysis and precise physical testing.

The San Francisco Giants selected third baseman Jacob Gonzalez, the son of five-time All-Star outfielder Luis Gonzalez, in the second round out of Chaparral High School in Arizona. The Toronto Blue Jays drafted first baseman Kacy Clemens, the son of seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens, in the eighth round out of the University of Texas at Austin. The San Diego Padres chose right-handed pitcher Cole Bellinger, the brother of Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger and the son of former Major Leaguer Clay Bellinger, in the 15th round out of Hamilton High School in Arizona. The Washington Nationals selected Darren Baker, the son of their manager Dusty Baker, in the 27th round out of Jesuit High School in California. The Los Angeles Angels drafted Peyton Glavine, the son of Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine, in the 37th round out of Blessed Trinity High School in Georgia.

Other notable selections included: Joe Dunand (2nd round, MIA), nephew of 14-time All-Star and 1993 number one overall selection Alex Rodriguez; Gavin Sheets (2nd round, CWS), son of former Major League outfielder Larry Sheets; Daulton Varsho (Competitive Balance Round B, ARI), son of former Major League outfielder Gary Varsho; Mac Sceroler (5th round, CIN), nephew of former Major League pitcher and 1989 top overall pick Ben McDonald; Buddy Kennedy (5th round, ARI), grandson of four-time All-Star Don Money; Dalton Guthrie (6th round, PHI), son of former Major League pitcher Mark Guthrie; Chase Pinder (7th round, STL), brother of Oakland Athletics infielder Chad Pinder; Jordan Wren (10th round, BOS), son of former MLB general manager and current Boston Red Sox executive Frank Wren; Colby Bortles (22nd round, DET), brother of Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles; Gunner Halter (22nd round, TOR), son of former Major League infielder Shane Halter; Jamori Blash (23rd round, WSH), brother of Padres Minor League outfielder Jabari Blash; Zach Jarrett (28th round, BAL), son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett; Cole Percival (31st round, ARI), son of four-time All-Star pitcher Troy Percival; Riley Crean (35th round, CWS), son of former Indiana and Marquette basketball coach Tom Crean; Daniel Alfonzo (38th round, NYM), son of All-Star infielder Edgardo Alfonzo; and Jake Boone (38th round, WSH), son of three-time All-Star second baseman Bret Boone.

In addition, the Chicago Cubs selected Charleston Southern University outfielder Chris Singleton in the 19th round. Chris was honored by the New York Yankees during the team’s annual HOPE Week in 2015, following his courageous response to the tragic shooting inside a Charleston, South Carolina church that claimed the life of his mother.




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