It can no longer be said by me that every national publication on the planet is underrating Cincinnati Reds top prospect Hunter Greene. After coming back from Tommy John surgery last year and being able to see Greene pitch – even if it was just at the alternate site with the Reds and not in a “real” season – and throw 102+ MPH it felt that everywhere you looked there were still tons of questions revolving around Greene in write ups on prospect lists that rated him as the organization’s 5th or 6th best prospect. It was confusing. Today Keith Law unveiled his midseason Top 50 prospects at The Athletic and Greene has vaulted his way up to the #3 prospect in baseball on his list.

While you’re going to have to wait a few more days before I officially update my own Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect List (it’s coming on Monday), spoiler alert: Hunter Greene is going to be #1.

Currently in Triple-A with the Louisville Bats, Greene has made 13 starts this season between Louisville and Double-A Chattanooga with the Lookouts. He’s gone 7-3 with a 2.90 ERA and thrown 68.1 innings. He’s allowed 51 hits – 7 home runs – to go along with 28 walks and 94 strikeouts. That alone would be impressive enough. But if we consider the fact that he’s doing it at 21-years-old and that the last time he pitched in a game that counted in the standings before the season began in May of this year it was when he was 18 and it was July of 2018.

The scouting report always leads with the 100+ MPH fastball. Greene has sat 99-101 in nearly every start this year. He’s touched 104. He touched 105 in spring training. But there’s more to it than just the elite velocity. There’s also a plus to plus-plus slider. His change up isn’t quite on par with the other two pitches, but it’s been a solid offering that’s improved and can be a quality offering, too.

Only one other Cincinnati Reds prospect made Law’s Top 50 and that was Matt McLain who checks in at #31 overall on the list. Technically he’s not a Reds prospect yet, since he hasn’t signed his contract after being the teams 1st round draft pick earlier this month. Still, there’s no reason to believe he won’t sign, and here’s another spoiler alert: I’m including him on my update, too, even if he hasn’t officially signed when the list is released.

36 Responses

  1. RedBB

    Glad to see him bump up Greene but why the heck isn’t Lodolo gotten more love? Don’t see how he isn’t a top 50 prospect on any board.

    Reply
  2. E

    You love to see it. It’s one thing to be able to identify guys with potential, but it’s another beast to be able to develop them. I’m glad the Reds appear to be improving with that between Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, among others. It will be interesting to see our rotation 3 years from now.

    I am surprised to see McLain on the list, especially ahead of Lodolo.

    Reply
  3. LeRoy

    I watched Green pitch on milb live streaming and I paid close attention to his fastball.
    He routinely hit 99-101 but it looked extremely straight with little or no movement.
    To pitch in the majors he needs the fastball to have movement–up or down or sideways to be a good major league pitcher. Speed is hitable if its not located well or has good movement.

    Reply
    • AllTheHype

      But when the other pitches are a plus to plus-plus slider and average-ish changeup, the FB just got even faster and is NOT hittable, for some.

      Reply
    • L Jones

      Actually, the most effective fastball is often the straightest. That’s why high spin rates were such a big deal. If you can keep it from dropping at all by having a high spin rate, it becomes VERY tough to hit. So just because his 4 seam has little traditional movement, doesn’t mean it’s easily hittable. The less drop the better on a fastball these days.

      Reply
    • The Rage

      Greene needs to get on top of his fastball better. That would probably make his a major leaguer asap. Getting his change up to speed is though, what will make his a stud.

      Reply
  4. RedsGettingBetter

    I guess Lodolo is #51 lol… although he deserves a better spot…
    McClain is getting value from now… He makes me remember when Senzel was drafted…

    Reply
  5. AllTheHype

    Impressive that Greene is #3, had to happen and confused, like Doug, that he even dropped to the bottom third of the top 100 on some lists last year.

    BUT, almost equally impressive about Law’s list is that he has McLain at #31 overall when he was drafted 17th and there are how many other uber-prospects in MLB. He has to be well ahead of many others who were drafted ahead of him this year. Frankly, I don’t see how McLain is even in the top 3 on the Reds list. He has to be 4th at best. Very interesting, that one.

    Reply
    • L Jones

      I think it has to do with major league readiness. Polished college guys like McLain will often start ahead of raw highly touted prospects on these lists until the younger guys catch up.

      Reply
  6. Billy

    Uh… That escalated quickly. I get that Greene is good and believe he has been underrated by the national guys for a while now. That said, it feels odd to me for a player to make a sudden jump like this – particularly when the other prospect writers aren’t also falling all over themselves for him. Fangraphs has him listed at #42. Mlb.com has him listed at number 54. I’m not sure what Baseball America or Baseball Prospectus have him ranked at, but I haven’t seen anything to suggest that we’re talking top 10 in all of baseball. Why is Law so high on him all of a sudden, and why aren’t others following suit?

    Reply
    • E

      Keep in mind that others have not been updated. My understanding is that it was his preseason ranking. I think Fangraphs and other outlets will be updating their rankings soon.

      Reply
      • Billy

        I thought I was looking at updated rankings post-draft. Maybe I’m wrong. I still don’t think I expect to see Greene in the top 10 in other lists.

    • Stock

      One difference and this is huge is that Law excluded prospects currently in the majors. Brujan, Kelenic, Franco and others, many of whom would be ahead of Greene still.

      Others must still feel they need more time to push him into the top 10. I see no way that Greene is a lesser prospect today than he was when he was playing for Dayton or Billings. My guess is all sites had Greene in the top 25 then. At year end he will make everyone’s top 10.

      Reply
  7. LDS

    Prospect rankings are nice but the real question for me is how soon he’ll be viable at the major league level. I’m guessing 2022. With Castellanos out for weeks, there’s really no reason to rush him up. The Reds likely aren’t going anywhere anyhow.

    Reply
  8. AllTheHype

    To put the relevance of prospects lists in perspective…..where was ROY leading candidate India ranked last year?

    Reply
    • Randall

      Agreed. I don’t know how any Top 50 Prospect list could leave Lodolo off. Yeah he missed some time with blisters but the guy is dominant when he is out there.

      Reply
  9. Hunt4RedsOct

    Big Sal called up by the Yankees, ironically replacing former Red Asher Woj…

    Reply
    • MK

      Asher had short life . He’s only been up a week. Hope Sal has great successes he is a great kid.

      Reply
      • DaveCT

        Plus one. Already alerted my Yankee fan brother to be on the lookout for a guy built like an aircraft carrier.

  10. MK

    If the Reds fail to make a deadline move would calling up Hunter in September appease the fans who are expecting a big move?

    Reply
    • Doug Gray

      In September? No chance. The fans expecting a big move want some help tomorrow. They don’t want it in five weeks.

      Reply
  11. Harold Morse

    To late this year but I would be selling to set up a nice bull pin for next year, good by to grey.

    Reply
  12. TimJ

    Doug this validates our earlier discussion when Hunter was barely back in the top 100 while killing it at AA. I asked you how many players rated in front of Hunter would you trade Hunter for? You answered less then a handful and they would be all position players. Apparently Keith Law just did the same analysis.

    Reply
  13. The Rage

    The Reds should explore trading Winker for a starter. Aquino is making progress against the change and is a better fielder than Winker in LF. A lineup of
    India
    Senzel
    Cast
    Aquino
    Votto
    Naquin
    Barnhart
    Garerrio
    Flip Senzel with Stephenson when he catches in the order. Shogo, Farmer, Suarez then should come off the bench. I think part of Senzel’s injury problems is he is awkward in the outfield leading toward injuries and would feel comfortable in his natural position, which may help his bat as he won’t have to worry about fielding.
    Much better defensively than what we have now. Adding a starter in a Winker/Santillian package, a reliever for prospect fluff+Antone/Simms coming back should improve the pitching staff a great great deal. While the Reds young hitters feast on crappy pitching we will see the rest of the way.

    Reply
    • Redsvol

      why do we have to trade out good players? Especially players under team control for several more years. Sure a GM has to listen to all offers but we are much closer to the playoffs with Winker than without him. I might consider trading a pitcher that is only under control for 1 more year (Miley) or a pitcher who is going to get expensive in a hurry (Castillo) due to Lodollo and Greene likely being ready next year.

      But I’m not even sure I would do that. As we’ve seen over and over, you can never have enough pitching. We need more than Antone and Sims in our bullpen.

      Reply
      • Schottzie

        You trade from positions of strength to address weaknesses. The current makeup of the reds is going nowhere, assuming mediocrity isn’t your goal. Winker’s stock will never be higher and he alone could address the pitching concerns. The Reds need to deal while these guys are hot for a change.

      • ClayMC

        @Redsvol, for a couple years, when other fans have clamored to trade our most valuable assets, I’ve been leading the charge on “Suarez is a dream contract for a small market team; stacking all-star production from multiple players on long-term, team-friendly contracts is the only way to compete. He’s the only player that shouldn’t ever be considered on the trading block. Ever.”

        And while I still think that, and I still agree with you, I’d be lying if Suarez’s 2021 isn’t making me start to doubt myself, haha. Maybe there’s an argument to be made for trading a player at peak value, especially if the team is showing numerous other holes.

    • jon vera

      everyone throws senzel in every line up even though he hasn’t done a thing in the majors but get hurt.Trade him.

      Reply
    • Tripper

      Who is this Garerrio fella? Never heard of him and Googled him and can’t find him.

      Reply
  14. Schottzie

    His list is too heavy with position prospects (4 of 20 are Pitchers). I know pitchers are harder to project but kind of interesting as I feel like these lists are usually littered with more arms.

    Reply
  15. Danillo

    I wanted to comment on a trade proposal being floated online regarding the Reds and Cubs. National sports writers are suggesting a starting point of Hunter Greene, with Siani, and Ariel Almonte as a throw in for 2 months of “Baez”. I always find it amusing that Reds prospects should be devalued when trading for large market rentals.

    Reply
    • ClayMC

      I don’t think even the most fanatical drunken Cubs homers could justify that offer, much less national sports writers.

      Reply
  16. Stock

    If the Reds are trading anyone the first to go should be Castellanos. He is a FA if he wants to be. The Reds can sign him in November.

    Then trade Castillo.

    Miley and Gray should also be considered. If you can get 4 top 50 and 2 or 3 more in the 50-100 range prospects the future suddenly looks bright.

    Reply
  17. Stock

    I was thinking with the graduation of Stephenson and India the Reds prospect ranking would take a hit this year.

    However, Greene, Barrero and Lodolo have been great and should soar up the rankings.

    McClain dropped in the draft.

    Ashcraft and De La Cruz have come from nowhere to my top 7. Allen was a great pick in the first round and sits at 8 in my rankings.

    I really love the top 8. I also love the Reds draft overall although only 4 made it into my top 25.

    Even players ranked lower than 18 have been impressive. I like what Bonnin and Noah Davis have done so far this year. Bryan Ray seems to be adjusting to AA ball. Arij Fransen and Aguilera have been impressive in AZ.

    Reply

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