The long awaited debut of Cincinnati Reds #2 overall pick in the 2017 Major League Baseball draft is almost upon us. Of course, it’s going to be different than many imagined it would be when the Reds selected Hunter Greene on draft night. The team picked the then 17-year-old as a right handed pitcher, which everyone believed was and is his best position on the field. Most teams rated him as a first round shortstop as well, but nowhere near the same level of a prospect as he was a pitcher.

He signed on the last day possible, July 7th, and has spent the last month getting back into things on the field. He’s been traveling with the Billings Mustangs for weeks now, preparing with them both as a hitter and as a pitcher – throwing bullpen sessions on the side and taking batting practice with the team. Tomorrow night at home in Billings, Greene will finally debut. He is scheduled to start as the teams designated hitter.

The team is not going to let him play in the field at shortstop, but he will serve as the teams designated hitter at times. The now 18-year-old (his birthday was yesterday) will take the mound, according to the article linked above on August 27th. That’s the final Sunday of the month and a home game against Helena. Assuming that he’ll pitch every five days, that’s only going to leave him with three appearances on the season as a pitcher unless Billings makes the playoffs. His second appearance, assuming a 5-day schedule, would be on the road against Missoula on Friday September 1st. The final one would come at home, also against Helena on Wednesday September 6th.

The Mustangs did not qualify for the playoffs in the first half, finishing half-a-game out of a playoff spot. The second half is only 5-games in, but they are currently in first place by a game.


19 Responses

  1. SteveO

    Finally! Didn’t think he’d debut before Garcia, but he will. How can a 19 year old need 2 months to get into baseball shape for the DSL? There are 16-17 year olds in that league. The DSL season ends on the 26th. Will Garcia even suit up in 2017?

    • Doug Gray

      Getting in shape isn’t what’s keeping Garcia from playing. There’s procedural stuff that just isn’t through yet that’s keeping him from playing.

  2. wes

    I came into the season expecting a lot of growing pains and hoping for direction and development. Been plenty of pain and not enough direction and development. Out of grace with the Greene situation- this reflects poorly on organizational leadership. You drafted a kid- offer him more money than anyone ever to pitch, he balks the rebalks at last minute and now he can’t even take the mound once year?!? Smh….

  3. sultanofswaff

    Count me in with those who think a dozen or so innings is a little too much of the kid glove treatment. He’s physically developed for his age with no injury concerns that we know of. There’s no proof that the injury risk is being reduced, but pitching so little in real games does slow his maturation as a pitcher. Can’t have it both ways…..

    • marc

      Had not pitched since April.
      Do not want to hurt his arm at this point.
      I am sure the Reds are trying to manage him properly.
      Will be a few years before we see him in the bigs anyway.

  4. Rick

    It definitely would have been nice to see Greene go out and dominate like Gore has done so far. In terms of development, this year is all about setting up Greene for next year. As Doug said in the article, he has been with the team for weeks working and practicing. Let’s not identify game appearances and practice as the same thing. He is working, we just do not see it.

  5. Chris r

    I would imagine he would head to instructional league after billings??
    On another note Doug can you offer any incite into the release of Anderson Deleon so quickly just drafted and looks like just one game pitched.. kinda odd being he was drafted in 24 th round.. thanks

    • Bocephus

      He was placed on restricted list mid July. That usually spells some kind of issue off the field. I don’t have any direct knowledge though.

    • Doug Gray

      Yes, he’ll go to instructional league when it begins.

      And no clue on De Leon. I’m as stumped as you.

  6. marc

    Glad to see Hunter starting to get active.
    I would rather the Reds take there time, and not force anything.
    Thanks for the info Doug

  7. MK

    If baseball follows through with plans to push the draft back to the All Star game it would mean a guy like Greene would not appear in a regular season game until the following year.

  8. Arnold Ziffle

    “If Tomorrow Never Comes” by Garth Brooks is what they’ll be singing in Billings about the pitching however.

    I’ll believe it when I see it on the mound.

    • Doug Gray

      So until then you just think that everyone is lying to your face? That’s a weird way to go through life, Arnold.

      • Greenfield Red

        I don’t get his dislike for Hunter Greene. All of these guys are a crapshoot. According to some reports, Greene has more upside than anyone since Ken Griffey Jr.

        What Reds fan wouldn’t want that guy in the Reds system?

      • Arnold Ziffle

        No, not at all. Just that sometimes that old adage comes into play, you know the one about best laid plans, often do not come to fruition. I can see that playing out here. The Reds probably have good intentions with their so-called plan. But there is another old adage. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. We’ll see how it plays out soon enough.

      • Arnold Ziffle

        GFR, I don’t have dislike for Greene, as you put it. I am just not buying into the hype.
        Greene might turn out to be another Nick Howard, Nick Travieso, or Robert Stephenson. A player the Reds over drafted at their selection position.
        And Greene could turn out to be a Max Scherzer.
        The odds really aren’t in Greene’s favor on becoming the next Scherzer however.

  9. Ousama Abdu

    I’m a big Hunter Greene fan. I was looking at some videos, and while his arm strength is out of this world, he has some serious issues with his mechanics. His 3/4 arm slot and lack of a push off from his lower half is reminding me a little bit of Mark Prior. Could lead to some arm issues in the future.
    Call me stupid, but I think his upside as a SS/CF is higher. Like HOF potential. Effortless swing, power to all fields (with noted 450 ft hr, using a wood bat as a 16 years old) soft hands, unreal instincts, outstanding makeup, along with generational arm strength. The odds are also stacked much more on hard throwing righties coming out of high school then position players. Also, if you look at at his HS pitching stats, while very good were not mind blowing. Honestly, he really reminds me of Arod as a position player.