Minor league report Pt. 2: Hunter Greene triples in first pro game

By Mason Nesbitt

Last update: Friday, August 11th, 2017

Hunter Greene multitasked as he rounded the bases at Dehler Park in Billings, Montana, on Tuesday.

He heard the crowd explode. He sensed the surprise of his teammates at the speed generated by his 220-pound frame. He somehow deciphered his dad cheering from beyond the outfield fence.

Safe at third, the Stevenson Ranch product and Billings Mustang highlighted his rookie ball debut with his first professional hit, a two-run triple in a 10-7 loss to the Idaho Falls Chukars.

Greene finished 1-for-4 with a strikeout.

“It felt great to contribute,” he told The Signal via Twitter. “I hadn’t seen live pitching since May so getting my timing back and getting into a grove took me a few swings, but it finally came together.”

Greene, the No. 2 overall draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds in this year’s MLB Draft, served as the Mustangs’ designated hitter again Friday night. He went 0-for-3.

Drafted primarily for his pitching prowess, it’s unclear when Greene will take the mound.

High-A

Justin Donatella (Pitcher, Saugus graduate, High-A Visalia Rawhide/Arizona Diamondbacks)

In his first full season at High-A, Donatella has been solid. He owns a 3.51 ERA through 20 starts. He’s struck out 87 and walked 34 in 105 innings. He’s currently listed on the seven-day disabled list.

Steven Farnworth (Pitcher, West Ranch graduate/College of the Canyons, High-A Jupiter Hammerheads/Miami Marlins)

Farnworth holds a 4.58 ERA in 10 relief appearances this season. He is 2-for-2 in save opportunities, but hasn’t pitched since the Hammerheads placed him on the disabled list on May 5.

Cory Jones (Pitcher, College of the Canyons, High-A Frederick Keys/Baltimore Orioles)

The Keys placed Jones on the disabled list with a right shoulder injury on April 14.  He’s currently on a rehab assignment in the rookie ball.

Winston Lavendier (Pitcher, College of the Canyons, High-A Inland Empire 66ers/Los Angeles Angels)

Lavendier’s first full season at High-A has been bumpy. He holds a 6.65 ERA in 34 relief appearances. The lefty has struck out 53 batters and walked 25 in 47 1/3 innings.

Conner Menez (Pitcher, The Master’s University, High-A San Jose Giants/San Francisco Giants)

The Master’s product pitched at three levels of the Giants’ organization last season. This year he’s settled in at High-A, where he owns a 4.14 ERA in 19 starts. The left-hander has struck out 86 and walked 44 in 100 innings.

Roberto Ramos (First baseman, College of the Canyons, High-A Lancaster JetHawks/Colorado Rockies)

Ramos is putting together his third straight strong season at the plate. He’s batting .305 with 11 home runs and 58 RBIs.

Low-A

J.D. Busfield (Pitcher, Valencia High grad, Low-A Bowling Green Hot Rods/Tampa Bay Rays)

Busfield was great in Short-Season A last season. He’s been good in Low-A in 2017. The right-hander has a 3.48 ERA in 19 starts. He’s struck out 68 and walked 19 in 101 innings. The Hot Rods placed him on the DL on Aug. 11, retroactive to Aug. 9.

Michael Silva (Pitcher, West Ranch graduate, Low-A Lexington Legends/Kansas City Royals)

Since his promotion to Low-A on July 31, Silva has posted a 1.80 ERA in three outings. Over his first two minor league seasons, he holds a 3.74 ERA in 30 innings.

Jagger Rusconi (Outfielder, West Ranch graduate, Low-A Greenville Drive/Boston Red Sox)

Rusconi has been on the disabled list multiple times this season. The last of which necessitated a rehab assignment in rookie ball. Activated by the Drive on Aug. 7, Rusconi is hitting .213 in 94 at-bats at Low-A for the year.

Luke Persico (Outfielder, Hart High, Low-A Beloit Snappers/Oakland Athletics)

Persico started in rookie ball last year and rose to Short-Season A. Now, he’s in Low-A, where he is hitting .271 with five home runs and 56 RBIs in 369 at-bats.

Brandon Van Horn (Shortstop, The Master’s University, Low-A Augusta GreenJackets/San Francisco Giants)

Van Horn finished last season at Short-Season A. He began this year at Low-A, where he’s hitting .262 in 282 at-bats. He’s hit three home runs and driven in 27 runs.

Shane Zeile (Catcher, Valencia graduate, Low-A West Michigan Whitecaps/Detroit Tigers)

The Whitecaps placed Zeile on the disabled list on April 5. He hasn’t recorded any stats this year, according to MILB.com.

Rookie League

Devin Davis (First baseman, Valencia graduate, Rookie Princeton Rays/Tampa Bay Rays)

Davis is in the midst of his best minor league season to date. Drafted in the 25th round by the Rays in 2015, he is hitting .288 with 12 doubles, eight home runs and 35 RBIs this year.

2017 Draft Picks

Colton Burns (Outfielder, Valencia graduate, COC, Rookie GCL Twins/Minnesota Twins)

Burns is batting .286 with one home run and four RBIs in 49 at-bats. He’s walked 11 times, boosting his on-base percentage to .435.

J.C. Cloney (Pitcher, West Ranch grad, COC, Rookie Burlington Royals/Kansas City Royals)

In eight appearances, five starts, Cloney is 3-1 with a 3.55 ERA. He’s struck out 28 and walked three in 33 innings.

Keston Hiura (Second baseman, Valencia graduate, Low-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers)

In 62 at-bats in rookie ball, Hiura hit .435 with four home runs and 18 RBIs. Since his call up on July 18, he is 29-for-82 at the plate (.354) with nine doubles, two triples and 13 RBIs. MLB.com lists him as the Brewers’ No. 5 prospect.

Jared Oliva (Left fielder, Valencia graduate, Short-Season A West Virginia Black Bears/Pittsburgh Pirates)

Oliva is batting .257 with six doubles, four triples and 14 RBIs in 140 at-bats.

Michael Sexton (Third baseman, The Master’s University, Short-Season A Salem-Keizer Volcanoes/San Francisco Giants)

Sexton is hitting .212 in his first 85 at-bats. He’s hit three doubles and driven in 11 runs.

Nick Valaika (Shortstop, Hart grad, Rookie Bristol Pirates/Pittsburgh Pirates)

The UCLA product is finding his footing in rookie ball. He’s 13 for his first 98 at the plate. In six games at shortstop, he hasn’t made an error. He’s mostly been at second base, however.

 

 

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Minor league report Pt. 2: Hunter Greene triples in first pro game

Stevenson Ranch product and Billings Mustang Hunter Greene, right, hit a two-run triple in his first professional baseball game. Dean Hendrickson/Billings Mustangs

Hunter Greene multitasked as he rounded the bases at Dehler Park in Billings, Montana, on Tuesday.

He heard the crowd explode. He sensed the surprise of his teammates at the speed generated by his 220-pound frame. He somehow deciphered his dad cheering from beyond the outfield fence.

Safe at third, the Stevenson Ranch product and Billings Mustang highlighted his rookie ball debut with his first professional hit, a two-run triple in a 10-7 loss to the Idaho Falls Chukars.

Greene finished 1-for-4 with a strikeout.

“It felt great to contribute,” he told The Signal via Twitter. “I hadn’t seen live pitching since May so getting my timing back and getting into a grove took me a few swings, but it finally came together.”

Greene, the No. 2 overall draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds in this year’s MLB Draft, served as the Mustangs’ designated hitter again Friday night. He went 0-for-3.

Drafted primarily for his pitching prowess, it’s unclear when Greene will take the mound.

High-A

Justin Donatella (Pitcher, Saugus graduate, High-A Visalia Rawhide/Arizona Diamondbacks)

In his first full season at High-A, Donatella has been solid. He owns a 3.51 ERA through 20 starts. He’s struck out 87 and walked 34 in 105 innings. He’s currently listed on the seven-day disabled list.

Steven Farnworth (Pitcher, West Ranch graduate/College of the Canyons, High-A Jupiter Hammerheads/Miami Marlins)

Farnworth holds a 4.58 ERA in 10 relief appearances this season. He is 2-for-2 in save opportunities, but hasn’t pitched since the Hammerheads placed him on the disabled list on May 5.

Cory Jones (Pitcher, College of the Canyons, High-A Frederick Keys/Baltimore Orioles)

The Keys placed Jones on the disabled list with a right shoulder injury on April 14.  He’s currently on a rehab assignment in the rookie ball.

Winston Lavendier (Pitcher, College of the Canyons, High-A Inland Empire 66ers/Los Angeles Angels)

Lavendier’s first full season at High-A has been bumpy. He holds a 6.65 ERA in 34 relief appearances. The lefty has struck out 53 batters and walked 25 in 47 1/3 innings.

Conner Menez (Pitcher, The Master’s University, High-A San Jose Giants/San Francisco Giants)

The Master’s product pitched at three levels of the Giants’ organization last season. This year he’s settled in at High-A, where he owns a 4.14 ERA in 19 starts. The left-hander has struck out 86 and walked 44 in 100 innings.

Roberto Ramos (First baseman, College of the Canyons, High-A Lancaster JetHawks/Colorado Rockies)

Ramos is putting together his third straight strong season at the plate. He’s batting .305 with 11 home runs and 58 RBIs.

Low-A

J.D. Busfield (Pitcher, Valencia High grad, Low-A Bowling Green Hot Rods/Tampa Bay Rays)

Busfield was great in Short-Season A last season. He’s been good in Low-A in 2017. The right-hander has a 3.48 ERA in 19 starts. He’s struck out 68 and walked 19 in 101 innings. The Hot Rods placed him on the DL on Aug. 11, retroactive to Aug. 9.

Michael Silva (Pitcher, West Ranch graduate, Low-A Lexington Legends/Kansas City Royals)

Since his promotion to Low-A on July 31, Silva has posted a 1.80 ERA in three outings. Over his first two minor league seasons, he holds a 3.74 ERA in 30 innings.

Jagger Rusconi (Outfielder, West Ranch graduate, Low-A Greenville Drive/Boston Red Sox)

Rusconi has been on the disabled list multiple times this season. The last of which necessitated a rehab assignment in rookie ball. Activated by the Drive on Aug. 7, Rusconi is hitting .213 in 94 at-bats at Low-A for the year.

Luke Persico (Outfielder, Hart High, Low-A Beloit Snappers/Oakland Athletics)

Persico started in rookie ball last year and rose to Short-Season A. Now, he’s in Low-A, where he is hitting .271 with five home runs and 56 RBIs in 369 at-bats.

Brandon Van Horn (Shortstop, The Master’s University, Low-A Augusta GreenJackets/San Francisco Giants)

Van Horn finished last season at Short-Season A. He began this year at Low-A, where he’s hitting .262 in 282 at-bats. He’s hit three home runs and driven in 27 runs.

Shane Zeile (Catcher, Valencia graduate, Low-A West Michigan Whitecaps/Detroit Tigers)

The Whitecaps placed Zeile on the disabled list on April 5. He hasn’t recorded any stats this year, according to MILB.com.

Rookie League

Devin Davis (First baseman, Valencia graduate, Rookie Princeton Rays/Tampa Bay Rays)

Davis is in the midst of his best minor league season to date. Drafted in the 25th round by the Rays in 2015, he is hitting .288 with 12 doubles, eight home runs and 35 RBIs this year.

2017 Draft Picks

Colton Burns (Outfielder, Valencia graduate, COC, Rookie GCL Twins/Minnesota Twins)

Burns is batting .286 with one home run and four RBIs in 49 at-bats. He’s walked 11 times, boosting his on-base percentage to .435.

J.C. Cloney (Pitcher, West Ranch grad, COC, Rookie Burlington Royals/Kansas City Royals)

In eight appearances, five starts, Cloney is 3-1 with a 3.55 ERA. He’s struck out 28 and walked three in 33 innings.

Keston Hiura (Second baseman, Valencia graduate, Low-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers)

In 62 at-bats in rookie ball, Hiura hit .435 with four home runs and 18 RBIs. Since his call up on July 18, he is 29-for-82 at the plate (.354) with nine doubles, two triples and 13 RBIs. MLB.com lists him as the Brewers’ No. 5 prospect.

Jared Oliva (Left fielder, Valencia graduate, Short-Season A West Virginia Black Bears/Pittsburgh Pirates)

Oliva is batting .257 with six doubles, four triples and 14 RBIs in 140 at-bats.

Michael Sexton (Third baseman, The Master’s University, Short-Season A Salem-Keizer Volcanoes/San Francisco Giants)

Sexton is hitting .212 in his first 85 at-bats. He’s hit three doubles and driven in 11 runs.

Nick Valaika (Shortstop, Hart grad, Rookie Bristol Pirates/Pittsburgh Pirates)

The UCLA product is finding his footing in rookie ball. He’s 13 for his first 98 at the plate. In six games at shortstop, he hasn’t made an error. He’s mostly been at second base, however.

 

 

Mason Nesbitt

Mason Nesbitt

Mason Nesbitt is The Santa Clarita Valley Signal's Sports Editor.