The Reds have agreed to sign second overall pick Hunter Greene, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis (Twitter links), with a record-setting $7.23MM bonus landing the multi-talented youngster. Things came right down to the wire for the California prep star, though most believed all along that he’d end up putting pen to paper.
Greene was taken second overall in the recent Rule 4 draft. That slot came with an allocation of $7,193,200. Just how much bonus money Greene would land, though, could only be sorted out through post-draft negotiations. It was long suggested that his reps were pushing for the highest-ever signing bonus under the current draft slot system, which he did ultimately achieve.
Greene’s alternatives were to attend UCLA, where he had committed, for at least three years; or instead to enroll in a junior college — thus permitting re-entry into the draft after just one season. For the team, missing on Greene would’ve meant landing the third overall pick in next year’s draft. Clearly, though, both saw a deal as the optimal outcome, and that’s just what occurred.
Unsurprisingly, there was a considerable amount of jockeying among the first several draft selections. Fourth overall pick Brendan McKay (Rays, $7,005,000) and fifth overall selection Kyle Wright (Braves, $7MM) both took home more than first overall pick Royce Lewis (Twins, $6.725MM).
Though he’s considered a significant prospect at shortstop, Greene’s greatest upside lies on the mound. Per the scouting reports, he works off of a huge fastball that he commands well with a smooth delivery and excellent athleticism. Though his secondary pitches are in need of refinement, that’s to be expected for a player who won’t even reach 18 years of age until August.