Reds' pitcher Hunter Greene snubbed from All-Star Game in favor of NL Central rival

MLB's new Golden Boy got the nod over Hunter Greene.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds will have one All-Star this year — congratulations go to Elly De La Cruz. The Reds' superstar shortstop will be representing the Reds in this year's Midsummer Classic which is scheduled to take place in Arlington next Tuesday night.

But De La Cruz should not have been the only Reds' player named to this year's National League roster. While De La Cruz is certainly deserving, Hunter Greene has put up All-Star numbers this season as well.

However, Pittsburgh Pirates' starting pitcher Paul Skenes — MLB's Golden Boy — was named to the NL roster on Sunday night. Skenes is a fine pitcher and has performed well during his rookie season, but last year's No. 1 overall pick has only pitched in 10 games.

Hunter Greene became Reds' latest All-Star snub in favor of Paul Skenes

Skenes has been great this season, but the right-hander didn't debut until mid-May. Skenes is 5-0 with a 2.12 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 59.1 innings of work. Bravo! But there are some areas of Skenes' name that don't get talked about enough.

Skenes has allowed a lot of hard contact — something Greene dealt with earlier in his career. When you throw as hard as Skenes, you're supplying the power for the opposing batter. Skenes ranks among the 29th percentile in average exit velocity, with hitters slashing .220/.267/.350, while allowing 7.3 hits per nine innings pitched. Skenes is also surrendering 1.06 home runs per nine innings.

Hunter Greene

Paul Skenes

3.45 ERA

2.12 ERA

3.68 FIP

2.78 FIP

104.1 IP

59.1 IP

116 Ks

78 Ks

.201 AVG

.220 AVG

0.78 HR/9

1.06 HR/9

2.4 fWAR

1.7 fWAR

As for Greene, the former No. 2 overall pick is among 81st percentile in average exit velocity, has allowed opponents to hit just .202, and is allowing just 6.6 hits per nine inning pitched. Greene is worth 2.4 fWAR with a 3.45 ERA in 18 starts this season. Skenes owns a 1.7 fWAR through his first 10 games.

None of this is meant to degrade Skenes or what he's accomplished in such a short timeframe, but we're talking about a rookie who wasn't even on his team's Opening Day roster. Reds fans remember all the media members clamoring for De La Cruz to go to the All-Star Game last season, and in the end, the correct decision was made. The same should have held true this year.

And this isn't a case of Major League Baseball needing a member of the Pirates organization to fill out the All-Star roster. Bryan Reynolds was named to the team as well. This is MLB elevating one of their young, marketable rising stars ahead of a more deserving player.

Skenes' 59.1 innings of work are 24 fewer than fellow All-Star starter Reynaldo Lopez who'd been a reliever the past three seasons. Sorry, but Skenes is not deserving of inclusion on this year's All-Star roster if Greene is left off.

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