Hunter Greene could be an unexpected addition to Reds player pool

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 15: Hunter Greene #3 pitches against the World Team during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 15: Hunter Greene #3 pitches against the World Team during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Don’t be shocked if Hunter Greene grabs one of the final spots in the Reds 60-man player pool.

It may be a long shot, but don’t be surprised if pitching prospect Hunter Greene snags one of the final three spots in the Cincinnati Reds player pool. The team assembled it’s group of players set to begin summer camp at Great American Ball Park and Prasco Park in Mason, but only filled 57 of the 60 available spots.

The 2020 baseball season is going to be like none we’ve ever seen. Reduced to just 60 games due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 season is going to be a sprint to the finish line. The Reds cannot afford to struggle early, as the time to make up ground won’t be there. This is going to be an “all-hands-on-deck” situation; a perfect time to deploy Hunter Greene.

I’m unapologetic about my love for what Hunter Greene brings to the table. Not only is he a top-level prospect with unlimited potential, but he’s a world-class human being. His humble and giving nature has been well-documented. That said, Greene’s 100-plus MPH fastball has been well-documented too.

In a season ripe with intrigue, why not add a little more? The Cincinnati Reds offseason was loaded with an “all-in” mentality. The club added high-dollar free agents like Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos while also bringing in some help for the starting rotation in Wade Miley and a veteran reliever (Pedro Strop). The Reds also went overseas to snag their new centerfielder.

Add to that the addition of Trevor Bauer at the trade deadline last year, and you’ve got a team who’s ready to compete right now. No one team stands out in the National League Central, but the argument can be made that Cincinnati has the best starting rotation. So, if the Reds already have the best rotation, and an MLB-ready starter in Tyler Mahle, why add Greene to the mix?

First, I’m not even advocating that Greene be part of active roster. In fact, when it come to which prospect can help the Reds more this season, I’d lean towards last year’s No. 7 overall pick Nick Lodolo. The lefty offers a more polished game and could be helpful out of the bullpen.

However, adding Greene to the 60-man player pool only helps his development. There’s going to be no minor league season in 2020, so what better way to keep Greene sharp and monitor his return from Tommy John surgery than to have him among his future teammates in Mason? Here’s what Reds GM Nick Krall, via, had to say about Greene:

"“He’s a guy who we’re trying to figure out how to maximize this year for him. We want to figure out how we’re going to progress him forward. He wasn’t a consideration now, but we have three spots open. We can always add him at a later date if and when someone is ready to be put on the 60-man roster.”"

I’d call that a vote of confidence. Prospects will only gain service time if they’re added to the active roster, and Tyler Stephenson represents the most likely of the team’s top minor league talent to find his way onto the major league diamond. If Tucker Barnhart or Curt Casali go down, Stephenson is on deck.

For Greene, however, there’s a long line of pitching prospects who’d likely get the call over him. We mentioned Lodolo, but also Tejay Antone, Tony Santillan, José De León and Alex Powers are all likely to get their shot before Greene sees the field.

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Would I throw Hunter Greene to thee wolves after not having pitched in a meaningful games since 2018? Absolutely not. But, would I put Hunter Greene on a roster, filled with other talented minor leaguers in order for him to build up confidence, camaraderie and enhance his repertoire? Absolutely, I would.