1. Hunter Greene, Reds right-handed pitcher
There’s a good chance, if he proves that he’s fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, that Hunter Greene makes his MLB debut this season. However, the 21-year-old has yet to play above A-Ball. The injury he suffered during the 2018 season, combined with the absence of a minor league season in 2020, have robbed Greene of some much-needed time to develop.
However, Greene has continued to rehab and was brought the team’s alternate site last season. Greene possesses all the tools to be an elite-level starting pitcher. If he can put together a solid showing this spring, there’s a good chance that Greene will bypass Advanced-A Dayton and be sent straight to Double-A Chattanooga to begin the 2021 season.
By season’s end, I fully expect Hunter Greene to be pitching for the Louisville Bats or, perhaps, he’ll be a September call-up. Greene’s ability has been well-documented. The right-hander combines size (6-foot-5, 230-pounds) and strength and consistently hits triple-digits on the radar gun and typically sits in the upper-90s.
Reports are that Greene was working up to six innings per outing last summer at Prasco Park, so there’s no reason to think he won’t be seeing plenty of opportunities to go deep into games during the minor league season in 2021.
With Hunter Greene likely hitting the big leagues during his age-22 season, he’d be under team control through 2028. However, if the right-hander performs up to expectations, the Cincinnati Reds may want to lock up their future ace well before he’s up for arbitration, much like we saw San Diego do with Fernando Tatis Jr.