Video: Hunter Greene at 2016 MLB All-Stars EventNotre Dame pitcher Hunter Greene could be the top high school player chosen in the 2017 MLB draft.
Hunter Greene @ 2016 MLB All Stars event
In the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft, high school players were chosen with nine of the first 15 picks including the No. 1 overall selection. If early mock drafts are any indication, however, don't expect the same to happen in 2017.
Of the dozen or so mock drafts that have been posted online, only a couple have more than one high school player chosen among the top six players in the first round and only two have a prep athlete going with the No. 1 overall pick.
The one player who pops up time after time is Hunter Greene, a pitcher-shortstop prospect out of Southern California. Long a talented infield prospect, Greene has developed into the top pitching prospect in the Class of 2017.
However the high school selections after Greene are a mixed bag with no real consensus among the pundits choosing the mock drafts. That shouldn't be too much of a concern, though. Last year at this time, Jason Groome of Barnegat (N.J.) was the overwhelming choice as the No. 1 overall selection, while Mickey Moniak of La Costa Canyon (Calif.) was further down the list. By the time the draft rolled around, Moniak had risen to No. 1 and Groome fell to No. 12.
Top 10 high school Major League Draft prospects for 2017
1. Hunter Greene, Notre Dame (SO) (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), SS/P
The closest thing to a consensus No. 1 pick among the preps is Greene, a 6-foot-3 shortstop out of Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) who has steadily risen up the national player rankings. An All-American candidate since his sophomore year, Greene added power to his resume last year with five home runs. It's quite possible, however, that Greene will be chosen as a pitcher. In posting a 5-3 record with a 1.63 ERA and 68 strikeouts last season, Greene is seen as having a solid fastball that touches 96 mph along with two other pitches.2. Jordon Adell, Ballard (Louisville, Ky.), OF
The top prep outfield prospect in the draft, Adell has been ranked among the top 10 players in the draft due to his speed and ability to hit for power. He also has strong defensive skills, but his ability to hit for consistency could be a drawback.3. Royce Lewis, JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), SS/OF
If Greene is chosen as a pitcher, then Lewis is the top prep infielder in the draft. A shortstop at JSerra Catholic, there is a chance Lewis could move to the outfield. The Player of the Year by the Los Angeles Times last year, Lewis batted .429 with 21 RBI.4. DL Hall, Valdosta (Ga.), LHP
Hall has transferred back home to Valdosta after two seasons at Houston County (which included a Class 6A state championship). Signed with Florida State, Hall is considered the top left-handed pitcher in the country and he could be the top high school pitcher chosen (assuming Greene is chosen as a position player). Hall used an overpowering fastball to strike out 89 batters in 58 innings pitched last year. He has reportedly added a change-up to his repertoire, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.5. Alex Toral, Archbishop McCarthy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), 1B/DH
As a freshman, Toral was the top prospect in the class of 2017, due mainly to the power he displayed at such a young age. Toral's power waned a bit last season as he hit four home runs and had a .521 slugging percentage (he had a .735 slugging percentage as a sophomore). Still, Toral is seen as a possible first round pick at first base or designated hitter due to his power potential.6. Mark Vientos, American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.), 3B/SS
The top third base prospect among the preps is Vientos, who has transferred from Flanagan (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) to American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.). Played shortstop last year and reportedly has the chance to stick at that position given the right opportunity. Batted .321 at Flanagan, but is seen as a consistent hitter who could hit for average at the next level.7. Alex Scherff, Colleyville Heritage (Colleyville, Texas), RHP
Prestonwood Academy was a surprise team last year, finishing 34-1 and winning the TAPPS 5A state championship. Scherff was a big reason for that title run, as he went 10-0 with 82 strikeouts. During the Area Code Games, Scherff's fastball reportedly hit 96 mph. Scherff has since transferred to Colleyville Heritage, where he began his high school career as a freshman. Committed to Texas A&M, the 6-foot-4 right hander could be one of the few high school pitchers taken in the first round.8. Brady McConnell, Merritt Island (Fla.), SS
One of the fastest rising prospects in the Class of 2017, McConnell has developed into the best shortstop prospect in the class. Quickness, athleticism and good hands are one reason McConnell could stick at the position.9. Hagen Danner, Huntington Beach (Calif.), RHP/C
Danner was ranked among the top players in the class for his pitching ability early in his high school career, but he has recently been targeted as a catcher prospect. Will likely be drafted as a right-handed pitcher somewhere late in the first round due to his ability to throw three different pitches.10. Trevor Rogers, Carlsbad (N.M.), LHP
If Rogers is chosen in the first round, he will become just the fourth high school player from New Mexico chosen in the first round, the second from Carlsbad. Duane Ward of Farmington was chosen No. 9 overall in 1982 and Shane Andrews of Carlsbad went No. 11 in 1990. Rogers probably won't be chosen that high, but his smooth delivery and low 90s fastball make him a coveted left-handed pitcher.
Note: Correction was made to Scherff's current high school, Colleyville Heritage.