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Hunter Greene is taking his next steps toward the Cincinnati Reds

LOUISVILLE –– Cincinnati Reds pitching prospect Hunter Greene has his pregame routine figured out.

Before his Triple-A home debut on Wednesday with the Louisville Bats, Greene jogged in the outfield. Then he stretched his shoulder using resistance bands. And then he started playing catch.

Even as he warmed up before the game, Greene was working on his changeup and his slider, which he curved 10 feet in the air and dropped right into the bullpen catcher’s mitt. 

“To be able to throw hard is great,” Greene said. “But if you can’t produce other pitches in certain counts, it’s really tough to get these guys out. That’s the biggest thing for me, continuing to work on my secondary pitches and make those as good as my fastball.”

Louisville Bats' Hunter Greene (3) delivers a pitch against the Indianapolis Indians at Slugger Field in Louisville, Ky. on June 23, 2021.

Greene, the Reds No. 2 pick in the 2017 MLB Draft and a 21-year-old right-hander, threw five shutout innings and allowed just two hits at Louisville Slugger Field on Wednesday. His fastball touched 102 mph, but the biggest difference between Greene at the start of the season and him now is how his secondary pitches look.

“He’s everything that has been talked about,” Bats pitching coach Seth Etherton said. “There are some things we’ll continue to work on in terms of being more efficient and bringing out some variability to see if we can change some hitters’ perspectives.

“He’s a very good student, he wants to learn and be as prepared as possible. We’re going over the minutiae of pitching in this game”

On Wednesday against Indianapolis, Greene pitched one of his best games of the year. He mixed all three pitches in five scoreless innings while facing an above-average Triple-A lineup.

Louisville Bats' Hunter Greene (3) delivers a pitch against the Indianapolis Indians at Slugger Field in Louisville, Ky. on June 23, 2021.

Greene threw one of his best pitches in the first inning. Facing Indianapolis shortstop Cole Tucker, who was a starter for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, Greene threw his slider in a 1-0 count. Greene’s slider swept from left to right across the entire strike zone, and Tucker slipped off his back foot as he whiffed. 

“I (couldn't) care less about how hard I’m throwing.” Greene said. “If I’m getting guys out with the off-speeds and all my pitches, it’s great. You can’t just get by in this game with just a hard fastball. There’s a lot I’m still learning, and I think I’m doing well keeping it in perspective.”


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