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Reds: Hunter Greene’s biggest focus is off-speed pitches, not fastball

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Hunter Greene (79) throws a pitch in the first inning.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Hunter Greene (79) throws a pitch in the first inning.
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Cincinnati Reds top right-handed pitching prospect Hunter Greene sat down with FanSided’s Adam Weinrib for his SportFire Podcast. In the interview with Weinrib, Greene talks about the first time he hit 100-MPH, his interactions with Joey Votto, and the phenom’s desire to take his hacks in the batter’s box.

One of the more interesting questions Weinrib posed was, “What feels better; a bases loaded strikeout swinging on a fastball, or a strikeout looking on your nastiest breaking ball?” To the surprise of  many fans, Greene would prefer to get the backwards K courtesy of his breaking ball.

Reds prospect Hunter Greene is focused on his breaking ball this season.

Every Reds fan is waiting on pins and needles to see Hunter Greene pitch in the big leagues. After seeing the former No. 2 overall pick be sidelined because of injury and later Tommy John surgery, Reds Country is eager to see one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball make his major league debut.

Fans got to see Greene toe the rubber during spring training, as 2021 in Goodyear was the former first-rounder’s initial invite to big league camp. The right-hander was then sent to Double-A Chattanooga to begin the season.

So far, the results have been impressive. Hunter Greene is undefeated with a 4-0 record for the Lookouts. Greene has a 2.31 ERA through six starts this season and has posted 51 punch outs in just 35 innings of work.

And while Greene is well-known for his 100-plus MPH heater, Greene talked the Weinrib about his focus on improving his off-speed repertoire this season. Click on the link to hear the entire SportFire Podcast with Adam Weinrib and Hunter Greene. Here’s what Greene had to say about his focus on his off-speed pitches:

"“For me, throwing the fastball at the speed that I throw it at is great, but one of my biggest focuses during this offseason, and now in-season, has been being able to implement my off-speed pitches in any count. That’s been my biggest focus.”"

Greene knows his fastball velocity plays at the both the minor league and major league level, but if the 21-year-old wants to be an effective starting pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds in the future, he must have a good secondary pitch.

There’s a big section of the Cincinnati faithful that want to see Hunter Greene make his MLB debut this season, but I have a feeling we won’t see it until next season. At this point, while Greene may have the more electric stuff, it seems more likely we would see fellow first-rounder Nick Lodolo make his big league debut in 2021.

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Both Greene and Lodolo are currently destroying the competition at Double-A Chattanooga. It’s only a matter of time before the dynamic duo makes the ascension to Triple-A Louisville, and eventually finds a home in the Cincinnati Reds clubhouse. Kudos to our friend Adam Weinrib from FanSided’s Yanks Go Yard for an amazing interview with the Reds No. 2 prospect.

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