Over the weekend Hunter Greene arrived in Billings to join the Mustangs. They are the Cincinnati Reds advanced Rookie-League affiliate in the Pioneer League. The 17-year-old right handed pitcher was the #2 overall selection in the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft. Despite the arrival, it will be a bit of a wait before he sees time in a game.

I talked with someone in the Reds organization on Saturday who told me that “it would be a while” before Hunter Greene got into any games. He hasn’t pitched since early April and his high school season as a hitter was over in May. The Reds likely don’t want to rush him onto the field before he’s ready and risk any injury. Even as a designated hitter he needs time to get back into seeing live pitching again. It wouldn’t surprise me if he saw time in the batters box before taking the mound.

On the mound it’s just been a long time since he’s had to go out there and pitch regularly. He will need to build things back up before he’s going to be ready to join the rotation. That’s going to mean throwing with the team on the side.  How long until he’s ready to take the mound in a game isn’t exactly known yet, but we have a general idea.

Hunter Greene met with the local media in Billings and as reported by Kyle Hansen of 406MTSports.com, the expectation is that he will not play for “a couple of weeks at least”. When Greene does take the field it will be either as a designated hitter or as a pitcher. While he played shortstop in high school, and many teams felt he was a 1st round caliber player as a shortstop, too, the Reds are not going to allow him to play in the field for the time being.

19 Responses

  1. MK

    Understandable.But, this is why moving the draft back a month to create a TV Marketing event is a bad idea as a player like Greene would miss the whole season.

  2. Chris r

    I’m just confused why they would send him out to billings now if he’s not going to play.. why not keep him in azl complex until he’s deemed ready. Or is this early moved to help him get acclimated to pro ball life??

    • Doug Gray

      Probably a few things, some that you mentioned. Get acclimated with the pro baseball life, which is quite different in Billings than it is in Arizona, might be the biggest one.

    • Bubba Woo

      I’m confused by the move. I understand why you wouldn’t throw him out there for 5 innings, but why wouldn’t you just put him into games and build him up slow like they do with everyone in the Spring, i.e. he pitches an inning, then two, then 3, etc.

      • Doug Gray

        Because just like in the spring – the build up isn’t real. You build up on the side, then you start getting into actual games. Throwing on the side is not the same as throwing in a game where you are trying to get guys out in a competitive environment.

  3. ephram

    Robert Stephenson didn’t pitch in his draft year of 2011, so it’s not totally unexpected that the Reds would have another 1st round HS pitcher who pitches little (if at all) in his draft year.

    But the article kind of gives the impression that he’s not been training or keeping up with his pitching or hitting for the past few month. If that’s the case, then that is a little disturbing.

    Hopefully I’m reading too much into it.

    • DaveCT

      We know he didn’t pitch in games since fairly early in the spring. And hs games have over for several weeks now, as for live hitting. But given his seemingly lifelong training program via the urban baseball academy, I’d say there is very little chance he hadn’t been working out. This kid appears to be as focused and dedicated as they come.

      • Keith

        Agree completely with this. He started training to be a major league pitcher over ten years ago. He’s hardly the type to stop training several months before the draft. Reds are just being cautious with ramping him back up to live game action.

    • Stock

      The deadline for signing a contract has been moved up since 2011. When Stephenson was drafted an August signing left little time in the baseball season. The reason they moved up the signing date was to provide every draft pick with the opportunity to play.

      It would probably be a long shot anyway but because he is so young money is limited in the Shohei Ohtani signing. He has stated his first priority is finding a team that will make him a two way player. If the Reds threw Greene out at SS several times they could come to Ohtani and say we have no problem with you playing in the field and here is our proof. Greene was the best player in the draft (IMO) but Ohtani would have been the best had he been in it.

      Major pipedream here. He probably goes to the Yankees or the Red Sox.

      • Kevin

        Unless he’s going to sign for $300,000 or wait a couple more years before he comes over we wouldn’t be able to sign him anyways.

  4. Arnold Ziffle

    No surprise. The entitlement begins. What is next? Special traveling accommodations?
    Protecting their investment? Why even let him pitch in 2018 then either? Protect that arm. Funny, though, the Reds didn’t protect their investment in Nick Senzel by sitting him.
    Why the special treatment for Greene? Get him on the field.

    • Doug Gray

      This isn’t special treatment. It’s how the organization has dealt with nearly every pitcher that has gone long periods of time without pitching. We saw it all of the time when the signing date was August 15th and high school guys had gone 2 months without pitching. Now that it’s moved up, we don’t see it as often because guys aren’t going that long without pitching, but this used to be very, very common. Take a deep breath. Calm down.

    • DaveCT

      Arnold, you are willfully ignoring anything contrary to your bias against Greene that can be demonstrated through discussion, Doug’s reply notwithstanding. To state Greene is entitled is just insulting to him and to many of his supporters and future fans. Why? If you say the purpose is to state your opinion, I call bs on that. We both know that can be done without fanning derogatory flames. If it’s to slander Greene, I’d suggest changing your tune — it’s inappropriate in a public forum. If it’s to create an issue to discuss regarding the money in sports, make it about the sport, not the kids exercising their union rights to the (not so free) market in the sport. Please do not begin battering this kid with negative labels that have not a shred of truth to them. I can say for myself and likely others that if we wanted to deal with internet trolls, we can easily find them with one click. Opinions are fine; slinging insults is not, by me anyway.

      • Arnold Ziffle

        Relax Francis. Get a grip. Are you the opinion police now? It isn’t cool to snuff out differing opinions than the ones you hold. That is called being narrow minded.
        I said nothing that was inappropriate, nor untruthful. If someone was insulted about me saying the entitlement begins, they need to grow a few new layers of skin. Saying the entitlement begins IS NOT the same thing as calling Greene “entitled”, as you so misstated. Reading comprehension might not be a strong suit for you. You assume too much. But comprehend little. All I asked was why the special treatment for Greene. No other Reds draftee in the last several years has been handled with such kid gloves.

        I won’t change my tune on Hunter Greene. I have a right to not be a Hunter Greene fan as much as I have a right to be one.
        Greene can change that with the way he carries himself on and off the field, and by his performance. I hope he succeeds, because that means the Reds are probably succeeding.
        But as it has started out, the Hunter Greene era is all about drama, drama, drama.

      • Doug Gray

        Actually, you did say things that could certainly be untruthful. You stated opinion of things without facts, as facts.

        No other Reds draftee had gone two months without pitching, so comparing Greene’s situation to theirs is comparing apples and socket wrenches.

        All of the “drama drama drama” is because of how you are perceiving it. You are predisposed to the idea that it’s there, so you are seeing it with that light.

      • DaveCT

        My reading comprehension is just fine, thank you.

        Entitlement: the fact of having a right to something. More: the amount to which a person has a right.
        More: the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.

        Rights are not special treatment.

        As for Arnold and Francis, I suggest we exuent (look it up).

      • Arnold Ziffle

        OK Doug, can you show me and others any other MLB draft pick in last 5 or 10 years that has refused to pitch in his senior season, that had the drama surrounding their signing deadline, and now is not playing at all after signing?
        Brady Aiken is not a comparable situation. And neither is citing draftees that didn’t sign until mid-August under the old rules and didn’t pitch their first season. Minor league seasons are mostly complete by end of August. Can you cite any player that has been through a similar situation as Hunter Greene? No? Then special treatment should then enter the conversation and not be dismissed out of hand. I think this merits the exact definition of special treatment, if that same treatment has never been afforded to any other Reds draftee, or MLB draftee, in the past. How could it not?