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.