At the end of May, Cincinnati Reds top prospect Hunter Greene shared video of himself working on pitches with one of the Reds starters – Trevor Bauer. Greene noted that he had spent the last two days working with Bauer on his secondary offerings. The right-handed Greene is coming back from Tommy John surgery (April, 2019). In that time he rebuilt his mechanics, showing them off for the first time from the mound in spring training. Right before the baseball world shut down, VP of Player Development Shawn Pender said the plan for the young righty was to start pitching in games around the start of June. That obviously didn’t happen. And with no minor league season, it may not happen at all in 2020. Greene is currently not in the Reds 60-man player pool, which will be the only chance he’d had to pitch in games this year.
But, that hasn’t stopped him, or others, from finding ways to get work in – just in different situations than games. Greene has been doing plenty of work in his home town, but also spent a short amount of time in Arizona where he worked with Bauer. This week, the Reds starting pitcher talked a bit about the short amount of time he spent with Greene and what he saw.
“I saw that, an inquisitive mind, someone who asked questions and listens,” said Bauer. “He wants to be as good as he can be – someone who has a lot he can learn. It’s super exciting when that’s the case given his skillset and his natural ability.”
That natural ability is something we aw in action a few weeks ago when Hunter Greene hit 102 MPH in a bullpen session. If you wondered how he had recovered from the surgery and how his new mechanics were working – you got your answer right there.
“I actually think he’s going to throw harder, probably now, than he did before. More repeatable, probably recover better and be healthier,” Bauer said of Greene.
That would certainly be something, given that before the injury, Greene would routinely throw in the upper 90’s and touch triple digits often. It’s not just Trevor Bauer that had good things to say about the organizations top prospect, though. Pitching Coordinator Kyle Boddy spoke with Fangraphs David Laurila on Sunday and gushed about the slider that Greene was showing.
His breaking ball is unbelievable,” crowed Boddy. “I think that’s going to be a big eye opener for some scouts who had seen him. The report on Hunter is that he throws 100, and his fastball has a little bit of life, but his breaking ball isn’t a plus pitch. That’s very far from the truth right now. Hunter’s slider is truly a plus-plus pitch.
102? Plus-plus slider? That usually works out for a pitcher.