There’s been a lot written about the future, and the past, of the Reds 2017 first round draft pick Hunter Greene. And pretty much all of it has been glowing reviews about the young man’s game, talent, and personal makeup, exuding a confidence and presence that many agree are decades beyond his years.
And then you read Tim Brown’s piece about Greene over at Yahoo Sports, and those points are reinforced all over again.
Just 18 years old in August, Greene has played in only 10 professional games at Rookie League Billings, and thrown only four innings on a professional mound. Still, when the sensational young prospect (#18 over at MLBPipeline) decides to conduct a clinic back in his hometown in Southern California, baseball takes note.
This past Sunday was Hunter Greene’s Baseball Fest, held at Inglewood, California’s Darby Park. Former Red great Eric Davis joined, as did Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Windfield. Noah Syndergaard showed up, too.
Brown’s piece has all of the details and is absolutely worth the read. I don’t typically get enamored with talk about “intangibles” in baseball. But every time I read something new about Greene, it’s obvious that the kid has “It,” whatever “It” is. We’ll finally get our first true look at Greene’s game this coming season, and who knows if all those prophecies about “The Next Best Thing” will ever come true. They almost always don’t.
But if Hunter Greene’s Arm lights up the scene like Hunter Greene The Person does, baseball fans are truly in for something special.
In other prospecty news in (and in honor of our own Wick Terrell, who normally resides in this spot), the MLB.com conducted an interview with Alex Blandino, about his preparation for the upcoming season. Nothing particularly earth shattering, here, but he does note the emphasis being placed on showing the club that he can play multiple positions with the glove. Blandino has somewhat of an inside track to claiming a backup infield spot with the Reds, especially if he can truly play at shortstop at the Big League level.
In off the field news - Amir Garrett recently surprised his girlfriend Tausana with an engagement proposal. Reds Twitter has the deets. So, let’s say Red Reporter congrats to Amir and Tausana. Here’s to a long and happy life together!
The Reds will be getting rid of their awful alternate camo jerseys with less awful, still pretty bad, military inspired alternates. I don’t really have strong opinions on this kind of thing. They’re ugly, but even if they weren’t so ugly, I probably still wouldn’t buy one, so I’m certainly not in the MLB target demo for these or any “create different jerseys to sell more jerseys.” Still, these are bad. But less bad. Plus, there’s nothing like taking the red outta Reds.
Fangraphs has a look at Tommy John surgery, and whether or not we’re actually seeing a decline of the surgery (and the arm injury that precedes it) instead of the epidemic we feared just three seasons prior. Blog friend and Reds minor league expert Doug Gray looked at it and applied a MiLB spin to it that’s also interesting and worth a read.
But it was the first comment on that Fangraphs piece that got me thinking:
I think you are amiss to neglect to mention the increased use of alternative treatment options for relatively lighter UCL damage. We haven’t gotten better at preventing UCL damage; we’ve just gotten more conservative at actually putting pitchers through the procedure.
From a Reds perspective, that line of thinking applies directly to Anthony DeSclafani, who missed the entire 2017 with a partial tear to his UCL, but the Reds opted not for Tommy John surgery and rather rehab, rest, and relaxation, along with other procedures that I’m sure we’ll never be made aware of.
While DeSclafani avoided the 18+ month long recover that accompanies TJS, he still missed the entire season for the 2017 Reds, which isn’t nothing. If we’re truly in a new age of conservative treatments of UCL injuries, we also don’t know what that means for players going forward. We were spared from, arguably, the best pitcher in the Reds rotation going under the knife in 2017, but we may be in uncharted territory going into 2018.
And DeSclafani’s health for the 2018 Reds is definitely not nothing.