Today was the day that RedsMinorLeagues.com began to unveil the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect List, and I figured that would probably be the biggest news of the week. Once again I have shown that I am not able to see the future. Hunter Greene, who ranked #2 on the Top 25 Reds Prospect List, decided to drop the news that he’s 100% on twitter this evening.
Thank U Jesus! I’m 100% & feeling great! I look forward 2 continuing my training during the off season. S/O 2 every1 who supported me, @CAA_Baseball @Reds,Brad Epstein??Josh Bickel??Marcus Ahrens??Patrick Serbus??Nate Tamargo and Dr.Kremcheck & Dr.Ellattrache. Let’s go Reds 2019!
— Hunter Greene (@HunterGreene17) October 29, 2018
It was in late July that Hunter Greene was skipped a start. In early August he was shut down after an MRI revealed that he had a tear in his Ulnar Collateral Ligament in his right elbow. The tear wasn’t deemed to be too significant as Greene chose to go the rehab route rather than Tommy John surgery. Rehab has been successful for more than a few pitchers who only had small tears. The Reds have had two guys avoid surgery in recent years, with both Michael Lorenzen and Anthony DeSclafani coming back from rehab situations to avoid surgery.
Obviously for Hunter Greene this is great news. You never want to have surgery if you don’t need to. It’s also great news for the Reds. While most players return from Tommy John surgery without issues, it isn’t always the case. But even when they do, it does push the timetable back on guys. For Greene, if the rehab plan didn’t work as he and the doctors had hoped, he may have had to opt for surgery. That would have cost him at least a full season. Now it appears that he will be ready to go and won’t miss any time beyond the four weeks that he was out in August after being shut down.
After a tough start to the 2018 season, Hunter Greene dominated the Midwest League over the summer. In his final 13 starts, beginning on May 12th he posted a 2.91 ERA. In his 58.1 innings he allowed just four home runs. The right hander held opposing hitters to a .211/.272/.366 line in 233 plate appearances. That also came along with just a 5.6% walk rate and a 30.5% strikeout rate.
Assuming that he does remain healthy through the spring I would expect to see him begin the year in Daytona. While his ERA in Dayton wasn’t great, he showed everything you want to see from someone to earn a promotion except handling a large workload. He improved throughout the season. He made adjustments both in-game and over the year. The peripherals were outstanding. He’ll be just 19-years-old next season, the same age as many high schoolers that were drafted in 2018. But he showed he could dominate the Midwest League last year. The only reason to return to Dayton would be to manage his workload. That, however, can also be done in Daytona where he’d face more of a challenge.