Cincinnati Reds top right-handed pitching prospect Hunter Greene has not thrown a baseball in a professional game in over two-and-a-half years. Coming into spring training, Greene was asked earlier this week about his goals for the upcoming season, and the 21-year-old wasn’t shy about his ambitions. According to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, he wants to be in the big leagues.
Greene possesses a fastball that consistently hit triple-digits and has a curveball and changeup that are still developing. There is plenty of reason to believe that Greene could force his way into Cincinnati this year, potentially as a bullpen piece down the stretch.
Hunter Greene’s best chance to reach the majors is out of the Reds bullpen.
Greene, who was at the Reds alternate site in 2020, has been invited to take part in early minor league camp this spring. That will allow Greene to get into some the team’s Cactus League games. Greene is rated at the No. 71 prospects in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline.
The bullpen is realistically Greene’s only option in 2021, unless Reds rotation suffers a terrible rash of injuries. Last season, we saw the Chicago White Sox use a similar approach with Garrett Crochet, who projects as a starting pitcher longterm but was used out of the bullpen during the postseason.
If the Reds are in contention in a weak National League Central Division, I think Greene could have the opportunity to make his major league debut. Any service-time manipulation should go out the window if Greene could help Cincinnati down the stretch.
Heading into 2022, it is a near certainty that the Cincinnati Reds will use Hunter Greene as a starting pitcher, but this season, he could make a impact out of the bullpen. Greene’s late-season promotion could be similar to what Reds Country saw from Aroldis Chapman during the tail-end of the 2010 season when Cincinnati took home the NL Central crown for the first time in 25 years.