Everyone wants to talk about Hunter Greene’s arm, but right now the Stevenson Ranch resident is more concerned with feet.
The flame-throwing righty is set to pass out donated socks on skid row in Los Angeles this week as part of his Sox 4 Homeless Drive, which has brought in more than 1,000 pairs since early December.
Greene, a senior at Notre Dame High of Sherman Oaks, is widely considered the top high school, if not overall, prospect for the 2017 Major League Baseball draft.
His fastball tops out in the upper 90s. He hits home runs out of MLB parks with ease, and he plays a smooth shortstop.
Unsurprisingly, representatives from 18 MLB teams had visited the Greene home as of last week, with a few more to come. Greene, though, hasn’t let that complicate his sock drive. He has streamlined the process.
The socks arrive in droves at Notre Dame, where Greene picks them up on Fridays.
He opens each package, reads enclosed letters, signs cards, balls or pictures and sends the signed goods off to the return addresses.
His sister, Libriti, then repackages the socks in Ziploc bags.
Greene tweeted Thursday night that more than 1,000 pairs had been received and “still counting.”
“Now we just need to hand them out,” Greene said via Twitter. “That’s the fun part.”
Greene came up with the idea in November and used Twitter (he has 2,100-plus followers) to reach out for help.
He promised to sign cards, balls or bats in return for pairs of socks.
“My Twitter followers really responded well and it made the sock drive easy and successful,” Greene said.
Greene’s father, Russell, took him to skid row when he was 10 so Hunter could talk to homeless people and understand that “each of them had a story and were once a child like me with dreams,” Hunter said. The outings had a lasting impact.
“I learned that anyone could end up on skid row and that nobody grows up thinking that they’ll end up there,” Greene said. “As I’ve gotten older I’ve done a lot of different kinds of community service, but I thought the sock idea would be really cool because it’s so cold and I always notice their feet are not always taken care of.”
Greene stepped into the void.
The socks have come from as far away as New York. Eli Neuman sent in 214 pairs from Wisconsin. He won a signed bat from Greene.
Greene had planned to hand out the socks last week, but due to rain he is rescheduling the handout for Friday.
“My ultimate goal is to put a few smiles on some faces,” Greene said, “but to really make an impact on some lives by giving these socks to people who really either need them for warmth, protection or even bartering them for something else they may need.
“Kinda like how I bartered my cards and signature in exchange for socks. It’s all good, everyone gets what they wanted.”
Well, not everyone. Only one MLB team can draft Greene, a UCLA signee, in next June’s draft.
The Minnesota Twins have the No. 1 pick.