Sadly, the Cincinnati Reds parted ways with starting pitcher Sonny Gray on Sunday. While Reds Country mourns the loss of Gray, the fanbase should be excited for the pitcher they acquired in return. Right-hander Chase Petty has drawn comparisons to the Reds current No. 1 overall prospect Hunter Greene.
Both Petty and Greene have at least one thing in common - they can hit triple-digits on the radar gun. Petty recorded a pitch of 102-MPH last season, and if the New Jersey native can maintain or exceed that velocity once he reaches the big leagues, Cincinnati could have an ace up their sleeve.
Chase Petty has drawn comparisons to Reds prospect Hunter Greene.
Chase Petty not only has the same cannon for an arm as former first-round pick Hunter Greene, but he has that same level of confidence. Both Petty and Greene have elite-level talent, and they know it. You can call it swagger, you can call it arrogance, but I prefer confidence.
Petty has the potential to hit 100-plus on the radar gun, and sits comfortably in the high-90s. The right-hander has a sweeping breaking pitch that he commands in the high-80s as well. Most scouts consider Petty's slider a plus-pitch.
There are three concerns that accompany Petty; his size, his delivery, and his third offering. Let's address the size issue first. Yes, at 6-foot-1, Petty doesn't fit the mold of the prototypical starting pitcher. But neither does Sonny Gray. Standing just 5-foot-10, Gray is more than capable of being a reliable stater in the big leagues, so questions about Petty's size are seriously overblown.
The delivery is a fair point, as Petty has a lower-slot delivery. That may be something that Reds Director of Pitching Derek Johnson will look to address. That said, if altering Petty's delivery reduces his velocity, that may not be the best course of action. Still, if it's deemed that Petty's arm angle may result in injury over the long haul, it's best to make those adjustments while he's still developing.
Finally, we'll look at that third offering - Petty's changeup. The concern is that his changeup may not offer enough change in speed, as it currently sits in the low-90s. I don't see this as a problem given that Petty isn't even 19 years old. The Reds coaching staff will have ample time to work with the right-hander on his off-speed pitch before Petty is major league-ready.
So, cheer up, Reds Country! While we'll all miss Sonny Gray on the field, it's time to get excited about the Cincinnati Reds newest prospect. Currently rated as the team's fourth-best prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Chase Petty could quickly ascend to the top of the Reds farm system, especially if Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo make their major league debuts in 2022.