Hunter Greene

From BR Bullpen

Christian Hunter Greene

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Hunter Greene was the most hyped player coming into the 2017 amateur draft, in which he was selected second overall by the Cincinnati Reds. A phenom at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA, he made the cover of Sports Illustrated after his fastball was clocked at 102 mph. He was also a sensational shortstop, who would have been a top-ten pick based on his bat alone. He had been in the major league pipeline for years, having attended the Urban Youth Academy in Compton, CA starting at age 7. The only question was whether he would go first or second, as the Minnesota Twins, who held the first pick, were looking at a variety of players, while it was clear that the Reds would not let him pass if he was still available when their turn came, which is what came to be after the Twins settled on another California high schooler, SS Royce Lewis, first overall. The Reds announced that they were drafting Greene as a pitcher, but there was speculation that would also let him DH in the lower minors just to see how his bat played out in the professional ranks. Reds GM Dick Williams explained: "We're going to leave the door open for both. This is a very unique situation, something we've never been confronted with before."

It took a while for Greene and the Reds to come to an agreement on a signing bonus but a deal was finally reached on July 7th, minutes before the signing deadline. The Reds agreed to pay him a bonus of $7.23 million, the highest paid to anyone in that year's draft and in fact the highest since MLB had begun putting a cap on signing bonuses. He was assigned to the Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer League to start his pro career. His pitching debut came on August 27th, when he worked an inning, after having played his first seven games as a designated hitter. One of his 15 pitches clocked in at 100 mph. He went 0-1, 12.46 in 3 starts and hit .233 with 2 doubles and a triples in 7 games, then was assigned to the Arizona Fall League.

Heading into the 2018 season, the Reds announced that Greene would concentrate on his pitching for the time being, although the Reds added that they were not "closing the door on developing him offensively" either. He was assigned to the Class A Dayton Dragons to start the year. In his first outing on April 9th, he hit triple digits on the radar gun. He was named to the United States team for the 2018 Futures Game. In the game, he relieved Justus Sheffield in the 3rd inning with a runner on first, and quickly gave up a homer to Luis Alexander Basabe on a 102 mph fastball. He also walked a batter and hit one, showing both impressive velocity and some wildness and a need to work on his secondary pitches. For the season, he went 3-7, 4.48 in 18 starts, striking out 89 batters in 68 1/3 innings; he did not bat at all. However, his season ended early due to a sprain in his pitching elbow, his last appearance coming on July 26th. More bad news followed in 2019 as on April 1st, the Reds announced that he would require Tommy John surgery and would miss the entire season as a result. He then experienced another setback when the 2020 minor league season was wiped out by the Coronavirus pandemic.

As a result, there was a lot of curiosity around his return to action during spring training in 2021, and he did not disappoint as he surpassed 100 mph with a number of his pitches during his first outing on March 2nd.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Steve Gardner: "Hunter Greene, 18, showcases 102-mph heat – and his growing pains – at Futures Game", USA Today Sports, July 15, 2018. [1]
  • Lee Jenkins: "Hunter Greene is the star baseball needs. First he has to finish high school.", Sports Illutrated, April 24, 2017. [2]
  • Bob Nightengale: "As MLB aims to attract African-American pitchers, Hunter Greene may be model", USA Today Sports, January 10, 2017. [3]
  • C. Trent Rosecrans: "Hunter Greene gets a taste of the big leagues at Great American Ball Park", USA Today Sports, September 16, 2017. [4]
  • Mark Sheldon: "Reds take star HS RHP Greene at No. 2",, June 12, 2017. [5]
  • Mark Sheldon: "Greene looking forward to first full year in pros: Highly touted prospect hopes to start 2018 season in Class A",, January 11, 2018. [6]
  • Mark Sheldon: "101, 102, 103 mph: 'Elite' heat from Greene: Reds' No. 2 prospect impresses Bell, Barnhart in spring debut",, March 3, 2021. [7]
  • Deesha Thosar: "2-way play? Not yet for Reds prospect Greene: No. 2 overall pick in 2017 Draft will pitch exclusively for now",, April 4, 2018. [8]
  • Mike Vorkunov: "Hunter Greene realizes his dream, but can he carry the weight for Reds, MLB?", USA Today Sports, June 12, 2017. [9]

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