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Top Cincinnati Reds prospect Hunter Greene out for year with sprained UCL

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Dang. Dang, dang, dang.

MLB: All Star Game-Futures Game Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The season began in inauspicious fashion for Cincinnati Reds prospects in the first place, as Jose Siri banged into the CF wall almost immediately as spring training began, wrecking his thumb and sending him to the shelf for months just one year after his breakout 2017 campaign. Then, Nick Senzel’s vertigo popped back up again, which derailed him for a few weeks before a finger injury ended his season prematurely at the end of June.

The hits just keep on coming, unfortunately. On Friday, the Reds announced that top pitching prospect Hunter Greene’s season is over, as a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm has barked something fierce.

If you want to get into technicalities, his season in Dayton is officially over, but he’ll head to the team’s complex in Goodyear, AZ to get his rehab started. However, these kinds of injuries aren’t the kind that generally have pitchers back on the mound and ramping up pitch counts for months, meaning we’ve likely seen the last of Greene in any official capacity in 2018.

That’s a bummer, of course. However, in his 68.1 IP for the Dragons in 2018, he began to flash the kind of top-tier upside that landed him a record signing bonus of over $7 million after the Reds took him with the second pick of the 2017 MLB Draft. While his 4.48 season ERA certainly reflected his early season struggles (in very limited pitch count games), his 11.7 K/9 against just 3.0 BB/9 while pitching as just an 18 year old in the Midwest League emphasizes exactly the kind of upside he and his 103 mph fastball possess.

Hopefully, this is something that was spotted early enough to not render him needing surgery, akin to how Anthony DeSclafani dodged it despite being sidelined for all of 2017 with a similar ailment. Obviously, we’ll have more on this story as it progresses.

For now, though...ugh. Just, ugh.