After a season that only saw a few appearances, the Cincinnati Reds are getting ready for Hunter Greene’s first full season.
Hunter Greene came to the Cincinnati Reds in the 2017 MLB Draft. Between signing him and assigning him to a team, Greene missed most of the 2017 season. Now 2018 is about to begin,
Greene was the second number two overall pick in the MLB draft for the Reds. In 2016 the Reds drafted top prospect Nick Senzel. The Reds’ plan for Greene may be culled from how they handled Senzel.
Senzel played Rookie ball and Low-A ball the year that the Reds drafted him. Then he started year two at High-A. Greene both played less and is a pitcher, so he is more likely to start the season in Low-A in 2018.
There are some other factors to consider, too. Greene went to the Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Califronia, making him highly skilled. However, Senzel went to the University of Tennessee where he became a team leader.
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Greene signed for a $7.23-million bonus, passing up on a scholarship from UCLA. The Reds gave him an opportunity to work both as a batter and a pitcher. Following his experience of going 7-for-30 as a batter, Greene decided to focus on pitching.
The Cincinnati Reds will change their development plan for Hunter Greene now that he is a pitcher.
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Starting pitchers take longer to develop than any other position, traditionally. The Reds drafted Robert Stephenson in 2011 in the first round. He didn’t make his MLB debut until 2016.
Using that as an outline, Greene won’t be ready to make his debut until 2022. The Reds didn’t even have Stephenson pitch the year that he was drafted. They waited until 2012.
That makes Greene’s most likely starting place Dayton. That is where Stephenson ended his first professional season and started his second.
It appears the best place to test Greene’s readiness.
Another pitcher for comparison would be Homer Bailey. The Reds drafted him out of high school with the seventh overall pick in 2004. Bailey made his debut in 2007.
That would make Greene on pace to get to the majors in 2020. Bailey started in Rookie ball as soon as he signed. He then started the next season in Dayton.
The Reds likely have a plan in mind. Greene will be in camp with the big league team. During that time they can make sure that the plan is right.