Hunter Greene had Tommy John surgery in April of 2019. As he worked his way back, it sounded like everything was going to plan and that he would begin to pitch in games around the start of June this season. That was the plan, as explained by Cincinnati Reds Vice President of Player Development Shawn Pender back in March. But then the COVID-19 outbreak happened and the baseball world shut down.

While Major League Baseball was working along with the Players Association, as well as health officials to figure out a plan to give them a chance at having some semblance of a season – Minor League Baseball was on the back burner and not being thought of too much. For a while there, the Major Leaguers and the Minor Leaguers were on the same ground – work on your own to the best that you can, but team facilities were off limits.

Greene, like many others, found a way to get time on the mound in. During the shutdown he was working out at a local facility that many other professional players worked at. He was posting videos on his social media accounts of him throwing in someone’s yard off of a mound.

When the Minor League season was cancelled, there was some uncertainty as to what guys were going to do. The Reds, and many other teams, potentially had a few spots on their alternate site rosters for prospect development. Hunter Greene seemed like he was among the few prospects that could grab one of those spots, but when the initial roster was announced, he wasn’t there. It wasn’t too long before he was added, though.

Hunter Greene spent two months at Prasco Park and he was facing hitters that, for the most part, were far more advanced than any that he’d ever faced before. By-and-large the guys at Prasco all had at least Double-A experience, with most of them having at least some big league experience under their belts.

On Monday he wrapped up his time for the 2020 “season”, and according to Greene, he topped out at 100 innings this year. Getting that work in, given all that’s gone on in 2020 on top of him coming back from Tommy John surgery, has to feel like a big time win for both Greene and for the Cincinnati Reds organization.

What is the 2021 MLB Draft order?

Nothing is official yet, but Jeff Passan of ESPN is reporting that a source is telling him that it’s highly likely that the 2021 draft order will be based on the 2020 records for MLB teams. The previous season’s record is what the draft order has been based around since the beginning of the draft. But with 2020’s situation, and when the MLBPA and MLB came to an agreement, the uncertainty of completing even a 60-game season led to them not finalizing plans for the 2021 draft order being based on a 2020 record. With the season almost assuredly reaching completion, it seems that things will be based on the final records this year.

MLB partnering with Indy Leagues

This morning saw Evan Drellich of The Athletic report that Major League Baseball has been discussing partnerships with various independent baseball leagues. Less than three hours later, Major League Baseball officially announced that they had an agreement with the Atlantic League. The details on what precisely this means are still coming out. The Atlantic League, though, did have this in their statement:

As a Partner League, ALPB will meet regularly with MLB to discuss joint marketing and promotional opportunities, including the leagues’ shared goal of providing baseball to communities throughout the United States. This designation expands the current agreement between the leagues, which permits MLB to test experimental playing rules and equipment during Atlantic League games. The existing agreement has also been extended through the 2023 season.

During the 2019 season, MLB and ALPB partnered to successfully test the Automated Ball-Strike System (ABS), which used radar tracking technology to assist home plate umpires in calling balls and strikes. In addition, the Atlantic League tested rules limiting defensive shifting, mound visits, shortening inning breaks, and larger bases.

It’s expected that there will be more leagues that are named as “partners”. This is just another nail in the proverbial coffin for some Minor League Baseball teams. Not that many were feeling great before the announcement, as the writing seems to have been on the wall for a while now, that they were going to have to transition to a different kind of organizations with regards to continuing to play baseball in their communities.

10 Responses

  1. MK

    Independent ball is minor league baseball, just not affiliated. Sounds to me like MLB is trying to take care of the communities that are losing teams with other minor league teams. The changes Independent ball will become much more relevant.

    Was interested in the B.A. reporting the Midwest League becoming High A while Florida State(first half of season) and New York Penn(2nd half season) combining to be Low A which makes a lot of sense, and saves some teams total from total oblivion.

    • Doug Gray

      Minor League Baseball is a brand. Indy leagues may be professional, but it’s not Minor League Baseball.

      It will be interesting, maybe, to see how things look in say 5-6-7 years if all of this holds, as to how we view affiliated baseball with non-affiliated professional baseball. Right now there are probably indy league teams that would beat the snot out of A-ball teams. But they aren’t exactly “prospecty”, either. They are just more advanced, older players with better skills and generally speaking, lesser tools. Will the indy leagues start seeing more guys that are sort of kind of prospecty down the line with fewer roster spots in affiliated ball? Or will we just see more guys becoming real estate agents sooner (or whatever chosen profession they have after baseball)?

  2. SultanofSwaff

    Huge win for the Reds to get Greene healthy and have him complete a workload that will position him next year to top 140IP…..hopefully in the upper minors. A midseason callup shouldn’t be ruled out. Makes you wonder if he is ahead of Santillan on the depth chart. More to the point, it was a tad weird we saw DeLeon before Tony.

  3. David

    When did they start playing games at Prasco? 100 innings seems like a lot, since the leader in innings pitched in the majors is 78 as of today. Luis Castillo leads the Reds with 66. I am curious as to how Hunter got 100 innings in.

    • Doug Gray

      He’s almost certainly counting all “innings” thrown this year, including those during the shutdown since March. There’s no chance he threw 100 innings in 2 months at Prasco.

  4. Bred

    With the dismantling of MILB, how many teams will be under control of the big league organization? The Reds hired Broddy to implement a system of pitcher development. If there only a handful of teams under their control, how they accomplish that?

  5. rgslone

    I hope Greene was able to get in good productive work – hopefully leading to more movement on his fastball and a better changeup.

  6. SaveTheFarm

    You may have already answered this, but if the Reds do make the post season would any of the Prasco players eligible for the post season roster? For example Tyler Stephenson?