The day we finally get to see Hunter Greene on a big league mound in a Cincinnati Reds uniform is inching ever closer. Of course, today’s administrative move to add him to the team’s 40-man roster doesn’t really change that at all, but it’s still a fun procedural move of note.
The Reds did add Greene to their 40-man roster today, by the way, at the deadline to protect players from being exposed to selection in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. The team announced said move on Twitter, noting the additions of OF Allan Cerda alongside pitchers Daniel Duarte, Alexis Diaz, and James Marinan.
Greene was finally eligible to be picked in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft since he’d been in the minor leagues for the requisite five seasons since being selected out of high school 2nd overall in the 2017 MLB Draft. He’s endured a fairly rocky ride since then, of course, with an elbow injury, subsequent Tommy John surgery, and a pandemic-postponed 2020 minor league season all throwing obstacles in his way up the ladder. Still, he re-emerged in 2021 looking every bit the talent that he was prior to the injury, firing 104 mph fastballs and knee-bucklers a-plenty as he reached AAA Louisville.
All told, he 106.1 IP between AAA Louisville and AA Chattanooga, striking out 139 opposing batters (11.8 K/9) in the process. He posted a 3.30 ERA and 1.17 WHIP, and his dizzying talent saw him rocket all the way up to #3 overall in Keith Law’s mid-season Top 50 overall MLB prospects.
In Duarte and Diaz, the Reds add a pair of high-K relief arms, though both are already 25 years old and yet to reach the highest level of the minors. Duarte has spent time in the Royals and Rangers organization, while Diaz has been with the Reds since being selected in the 12th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of high school in Puerto Rico. Marinan was origially a Dodgers prospect before coming to the Reds in the famous Dylan Floro deal, and still projects as a potential back of the rotation arm.
Cerda joined Greene in MLB Pipeline’s latest rankings of the Top 30 prospects in the Reds system, landing at #17. Still just 21 years old, he slugged an impressive .523 with 17 dingers between Daytona and Dayton last year, all as an OF prospect plenty capable of manning CF. He is, as we say, one to definitely keep an eye on going forward.
The Reds roster is now full at 40, meaning there won’t be any last-minute additions from outside the organization today as all 30 MLB teams scramble to protect as many prospects as possible.