Hunter Greene entered his start on Saturday with an ERA of 13.97. He had skipped his previous start as the Cincinnati Reds will probably have him do a few more times this season in order to help keep his workload for the year under control. Things barely could have gone better for Greene as he returned to the mound.

The first inning, which has been a struggle for Hunter Greene this season, was an easy one. So was the second inning. Both innings were perfect and included a strikeout. It was the third inning that would test the 18-year-old pitcher on Saturday. But, it wasn’t exactly for any of his own doing. The first batter reached on a single, but that single was an infield pop up that fell between two fielders and landed on the dirt in the midst of confusion. Another single in the inning on a blooper to center field put runners on the corners with one out. He got out of the inning by picking off the runner at first and then getting a strikeout to end the inning.

In what would be his final inning of work, the 4th, Hunter Greene would toss another perfect frame. He would get the first batter to ground out and follow up with two strikeouts to close the book on his day. That left him with final line of 4.0 innings, two hits allowed, no runs, no walks, and he struck out five batters.

You can watch the final pitch of all five strikeouts by Hunter Greene in the video above. But, let’s dive into the outing a little bit. In the first three innings of the game, Greene threw one offspeed pitch. Everything else was a fastball between 97-100 MPH, touching 101 once during the game. In the 4th inning, though, that’s when he began to mix in more offspeed stuff.

The plan entering the game was to be fastball heavy during the outing. It paid off, too. Saturday night saw Hunter Greene throw the highest rate of strikes he had in his six starts this season. He threw 39 strikes out of 57 pitches, good for a 68.4% strike rate. His first start of the year was the next best at 66%, and the only other start above 60%.

Improving the control was a good step for Hunter Greene, who had walked nine batters in his previous three starts, spanning just 4.1 innings. In his other three starts he’s walked one batter and struck out 16. Consistency has been where he’s needed to improve, and on Saturday night, he was rather consistent.

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27 Responses

  1. DHud

    I thought we had already declared him a bust after 9 whole professional innings? (obvious sarcasm)

  2. Simon Cowell

    He’s not a bust but clearly he has plenty of work to do.

  3. kevinz

    Glad see Greene have a good outing But i am big on picking a hitter in the 1st rd though.
    The reasoning is because most our best Pitchers were picked after the 1st rd.
    Try for the best hitter in the 1st then sprinkle Pitching all throughout after that.

    • Simon Cowell

      I agree. With pitchers you also have to worry about the arm falling out.

    • Michael

      Our best hitter was picked in the second round. The draft is a crap shoot regardless. You take best talent like Green was.

      • kevinz

        that is true but our best pitchers are 4th rd and lower rather take hitters higher up less of a risk even though there is a risk either way

      • Doug Gray

        Top 15 draft eligible pitchers in fWAR since the 2016 season began:
        1st round (13)
        1st round (11)
        4th round
        1st round (7)
        1st round (2)
        1st round (1)
        4th round
        9th round
        1st round (27 – but given 4th highest bonus in the draft)
        1st round (7)
        1st round (1)
        1st round (6)
        5th round
        1st round (3)
        1st round (8)

        11 of the 15 best pitchers since 2016 started in Major League Baseball were taken in the 1st round. Only one of them wasn’t taken in the 1st half of the 1st round among that group, and he signed for more money than almost everyone in the draft.

        Sure, there’s risk in taking a pitcher because injuries happen to them. But, the best pitchers alive, at least from the draft, are coming in the 1st round by-and-large.

      • kevinz

        Nice list there Doug that doesn’t include the The Reds though. The reds best pitchers Right now are after the 1st rd thats all matters to me not all other 31 teams lol

      • Doug Gray

        Well, there are only 29 other teams. But where the best pitchers alive come from should really matter to you if you’re going to be trying to find those types of guys. And by and large, they are coming in the first half of the first round.

    • Amarillo

      In Baseball where players take 3 years at least before they get to the majors. Best Player Available. Always. After the first 5 or so picks the draft is completely luck anyway.

    • kevinz

      Obviously i do want them type of Ace Pitchers. Most other teams have had better success than our Reds with 1st rd Pitchers. Most The reds Success the last few years with Pitchers have come after rd 1 nobody can debate that.

      • Doug Gray

        The Reds have had the worst pitching staff in baseball for 3 years running. Maybe they should draft MORE pitchers in the 1st round….

        This debate is silly. You don’t avoid drafting pitchers in the 1st round because your franchise hasn’t been great at getting pitchers in the 1st round. They’ve been really bad at getting pitchers in any round. Forever. The two best pitchers they’ve drafted themselves over the last 30 years were both taken in the top 10 picks in the entire draft. Take the best player when it’s your turn to pick. If that’s a pitcher, great. If it’s a catcher, great. If it’s some other spot, great. Just take that guy.

      • kevinz

        Agreed have been Horrible last 3 years with mostly journeyman type and failed 1 rd picks. Mahle Romano Garrett all after our 1 rd picks.
        All 3 better than our 1 rd picks as Pitchers . Fun lil debate not trying to cause a Problem just making a Point of over last 5 drafts or so been much better getting Pitchers later in the draft.

      • Doug Gray

        Which has nothing at all to do with “pick pitchers later in the draft” being a good strategy. Which was the point.

        And Amir Garrett was paid like a 1st round pick. So I don’t even count him in your point.

      • kevinz

        the picking a pitcher later has worked for the Reds than the 1st rd picks so it has worked lol it okay to be wrong Doug. also Garrett wasnt picked in the 1st so your wrong again lol dont matter what was paid still picked after 1st rd . Atm Pitchers for the reds picked after 1st rd better than what our 1st rd picks were so your theory atm is wrong for the reds yours Theory is right for other teams just not for the Reds drafting in past 5 years. I stick with facts you can stick to your theories thats all lol

      • Doug Gray

        And hitting in blackhack when you have 19 CAN work, too. But the fact that it has worked in the past doesn’t mean it’s ever a good strategy.

        And yes, it matters what a guy was paid because before there were rules in place, guys with big time talent fell in the draft because of salary demands. And it happened every single year. Guys would get Top 5 money despite being taken in the 2nd-3rd-5th rounds.

        You technically are stating facts, but what you’re trying to use the facts to say is insanely misleading at best.

        I’m just going to leave it at this: If you think the Reds selecting WORSE PLAYERS is somehow better for them to develop good pitchers is a viable strategy because Tyler Mahle was a 7th round pick and whoever you want to point to was a 1st round pick, then you’re wrong and it’s a stupid thing to say out loud. And if that’s not what you’ve been trying to say, then you need to make your points better, because that is exactly what it sounds like you’re trying to say.

      • kevinz

        Sry Doug just was trying to make a Point that the Last few years The reds have had better luck with getting Pitchers after the 1st rd. Not saying will always will work but it has lately.
        I would never Pass on a Great Pitcher for a Hitter who is worse. It hard to do that with predicting though to know who is going to be better whether it a Position player or a Pitcher until down the Road

  4. Datdudejs

    Good to see him make some improvements with his control. Hopefully it continues

  5. AirborneJayJay

    Command improvement is good to see. Hopefully Greene turns into the anti-Robert Stephenson. Now there is one 1st round bust. This LA-like warmer weather agrees with Greene. Looking forward to more such outings from him. Good job.

    • Cguy

      1st round bust? Seriously? Just in the 1st round of 2011, just counting pitchers. Overall #2) Danny Hultzer (lhp) by Seattle. He never made the ML. #12) Taylor Jungman (rhp) by Brewers. He had a 9-13 record with a 4.54 ERA but is now pitching for the Yomiuri Giants in the Nippon League. #14) Jose Fernandez (rhp) He accrued a 38-17 record with a 2.58 ERA before he died in Sept of 2016. #15 Jed Bradley (lhp) by Brewers. Career record of 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA before retiring last year. #16) Chris Reed (lhp) by Dodgers. Career 0-0 record with a 4.50 ERA in 2015. Hasn’t pitched in ML since. #23 Alex Meyer (rhp) by Nationals. He has a 5-8 record with a 4.63 ERA in 95.1 IP to date. #27) Robert Stephenson by Reds. He has a 7-9 record with a 5.10 ERA in 121.2 IP. Seventeen pitchers drafted in the 1st round of 2011, RS fits in just under the median career for those pitchers. Not quite yet a bust.

      • Doug Gray

        Just a fun reminder to everyone: About half of all 1st round picks get a cup of coffee and that’s about it.

      • Norwood Nate

        Solid post. Thanks for looking that info up.

        If he can’t find any semblance of consistent control then it will be a disappointment because he easily has MLB stuff. Later last season he did find some success with the Reds. I’m hoping he rebounds and can pitch his way back into the rotation conversation.

      • Amarillo

        Did you just list Jose Fernandez in a list of draft busts?

  6. MK

    I don’t think he threw as many 100 mph fastballs as he had in previous outings. Maybe he has learned 98 is enough if more are strikes or better controlled within strike zone.

  7. ytrewq

    “The first inning, which has been a struggle for Hunter Greene this season”

    Well, since he rarely make it out of the 1st inning, that’s a rather obvious understatement :)