Hunter Greene struck out nine batters in 6.0 shutout innings on Friday night for the Chattanooga Lookouts. The 21-year-old right-handed starter gave up just two hits, but did struggle with his control a bit as he walked four batters and hit two others along the way. For the second consecutive start he threw 106 pitches – 67 of which went for strikes on Friday.
Baseball America’s Josh Norris was at the game that featured Greene and 3rd overall pick in last year’s draft Max Meyer of the Miami Marlins facing off against each other in the match up. Norris came prepared with a video camera and got the full start for both pitchers, minus one walk by Greene, and uploaded the videos to Youtube. I’ve embedded the video below.
We already talked about how the outing went for Hunter Greene in terms of the overall results. But let’s take a little bit more of a deep dive. It was a fastball heavy night for Greene, who threw 74 of them and averaged 100.1 MPH on the pitch for the night. He had 23 strikes looking and another 15 strikes swinging. The 23 strikes looking were a season high.
Over his 6.0 innings there were only two hits allowed. Jerar Encarnacion had a line drive double with one out in the top of the 1st inning. The other hit came two innings later on a Peyton Burdick infield single. During the game there were only two line drives hit against Greene – Encarnacion’s 1st inning double, and then a Nick Fortes line out to shortstop to end the 3rd inning, but it was only a line drive in name – it was a little looper that wouldn’t have scared a 10-year-old had they been playing shortstop at the time.
After last night, Hunter Greene is now 5-0 through seven starts for Chattanooga. His ERA dropped to 1.98 on the season. He’s thrown 41.0 innings and allowed just 27 hits – just two home runs – while walking 14 batters, hitting three more, and striking out 60 of the 162 hitters he’s faced (37%). Greene has the 4th best ERA in the league while leading the league in innings pitched and strikeouts. His WHIP of 1.00 also ranks 5th in the league.
This is when as a Reds fan conditioned to not having nice things I start worrying that there is a catastrophe looming for this outstanding pitcher.
Lol poor little Reds fan that I am
Wow – that slider!
Is he working on the change up? If he threw it, I didn’t catch it. I can understand if the plan is just to get innings in, have success, but a solid change up seems like a key to potential greatness.
He’s mixing in the change up at times. I don’t have the full trackman data from last night, so I can’t comment specifically about this game, but I’ve seen some of the data from other starts and the change up has been in there. It’s still clearly a 3rd pitch that he only brings out so often, but he’s throwing it.
Thanks, Doug. Hope developing a third pitch is prioritized over promoting him. They aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, but easier to work on in a game situation in AA, I would think. I’d like to see him throw a couple an inning. Maybe Miley can just teach him how to throw his fastball.
This is pretty cool. Thanks.
He looks pretty imposing on the mound these days, not sure if/how much he’s bulked up as opposed to just matured physically. Fastball looks like it can bore in on right handed hitters. Looked like a lot of weak contact hit the opposite way. On his way, for sure.
I caught the Miley teaching Hunter his fastball line. Hilarious! Truly.
I am old school (meaning I’m old) and would like to see him spend however much time in the minors it requires to hone his skills in all aspects of his pitching. Learning to throw a slider certainly would benefit his success, so IMO he should not advance to the major league level until he has 3 solid pitches.
Well, I certainly can join you in the old category.
Greene is pretty amazing and only 21. He’ll probably just continue to get better. I would guess he moves to AAA in about a month (maybe sooner, given the injury promotions), may get a little time in the Reds’ bullpen to end his year, and is in consideration for a spot in the rotation in spring training next year. His fastball/slider combination is elite, and he’s shown he can blow away AA batters with them, but at the major league level, a third pitch will matter. He’s likely to move fast, so just hope the system has him start to develop it in a game setting now.
Doug, I have to disagree with some of the posters. Greene as well as Lodollo are approaching the most innings they have thrown in a season. Both are looking spectacular. With Santillian and Gutierrez having been promoted to AA both Greene and Lodollo should get promoted to AAA and have them ready to be able to be brought up to the big league club sometime around the all star break as relievers. This keeps their innings lower and also helps the big club while also getting your best players to the big leagues club.
After today the Reds are at .500 and with a solid bullpen have a very respectable chance to win the division. Thoughts??
I don’t think you need to control the innings so much with Lodolo as you do Greene. In 2019 Lodolo threw just over 120 innings between TCU and with the Reds teams in the minors.
Greene you probably need to monitor a little bit more. I’m sure the team has some idea of where they want him to wind up this year, innings wise. I don’t know what that number is. But I do know that I probably wouldn’t bring him up and put him in the bullpen until he had at least 100 innings as a starter in this season. Same for Lodolo.
I’d say it’s more realistic that two of Hoffman, Guerrero and Santillan move to the bullpen as multi innings guys once Gray returns (as well as Hoffman, who is almost a given to head there).
Both Geurrero and Santillan are far more experienced than the lower two. Don’t forget Riley O’Brian in this equation, either. He was a highly ranked prospect in the equally highly ranked Tampa Bay system.
Finishing the year at Louisville for Greene and Lodolo is more realistic given their development, which includes the experience of taking their lumps in the minors. Adversity is a good training tool.
I don’t mind Greene spending his last 20+ innings out of a major league bullpen, I just don’t want to do anything to prevent him from starting in 22. I would promote Lodolo to AAA for his next outing, and Greene in about a month, assuming he continues pitching well.
No, a late call-up if warranted is fine. That’s different from putting either into the mix in more high stress situations. Let’s not rush either. They need all of the time that they’ll require. Why risk two high upside arms.
What are people smoking? Challenge through competition is what drives improvement. Dominating poor competition is a breeding ground for bad habits. Neither Lodolo nor Greene are being challenged at AA. They are absolutely dominating. Move them up to AAA and if they’re not challenged there move them up to the next level. Its not rocket science folks.
They’ve barely made it around the league one turn. AA hitters are very good. Wait until those guys figure these two out, then run your mouth. I’m not smoking anything, by the way. Tonight.
Good development is good development. Greene has walked four guys twice this season. In the minor leagues. It’s clear he needs work. He doesn’t have a change that he uses, as he works on his slider. ML hitters will feast on his fastball. Just like the top minor league hitters in the Futures Game. Or don’t you know that?
How do they not develop in the bullpen with one of the top pitching coaches in the game working with them everyday? Nearly every other team that has a long history of a winning culture brings up their top starting pitchers after the all star break and put them in the bullpen to intro them to the majors if they are in contention. Gets their feet wet without the league getting a chance to figure them out. Obviously it is t time yet, but as both get closer to 60innings for Greene and maybe 75 innings for Lodollo it only makes sense if the big club is in contention. Doug makes a good point here about innings.
The minors are there to help the big league team win when it is all said and done.
Greene is amazing for sure but low key Chucky Robinson had an excellent night receiving him. Good athleticism, quiet target.