The 2019 professional baseball season in the states saw Hunter Greene throw exactly zero official pitches. The 2020 professional baseball season in the states saw Hunter Greene throw exactly zero official pitches.
Dating back to calendar year 2017, the year in which he was drafted, Greene has never once thrown an official pitch in even a spring training game for the Reds, with a grand total of 72.2 minor league innings - none above A-ball Dayton - on his ledger at all. A serious arm ailment, a precautionary initial recovery plan, and subsequent surgery anyway set him on the sidelines for a painfully long time, and the pandemic further put his return on hold with the suspension of play during the 2020 season altogether.
So, with Greene slated to start for the Cincinnati Reds in tonight’s Cactus League game against the Los Angeles Angels, it’s safe to say we’re pretty damn excited about an exhibition game on a level we’ve rarely experienced in these parts.
The remarkable talent held in Greene’s powerful right arm has gone through plenty already in his professional career, so it’s in many ways hard to relax, take a deep breath, and realize he’s still just 21 years of age. He’s younger than many of the 1st round pitchers who’ll be drafted this summer out of college, and a full year and a half younger than Nick Lodolo, another prized Reds pitching prospect. Now healthy and with some experience working under Kyle Boddy and Derek Johnson under his belt, Greene will take the mound this evening with an improving breaking ball and slightly lower arm slot than the last time most eyes saw him, all still with a fastball that’ll touch 100 mph with ease.
He’s still very much the future, folks, and tonight he’ll be on his biggest stage yet. Fortunately for all parties involved, it’ll be viewable, too, as the Angels FS-West broadcast team will have it televised, meaning you can watch it via MLB At-Bat. MLB Network, too, will be carrying coverage, so you can watch it that way as well.
The Reds will be backing Greene with a lineup full of many regulars, with Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, and other familiar faces getting in a few innings. The Angels, meanwhile, have rotated Mike Trout and most of their regulars out of their lineup after playing yesterday, but are rolling out a group with a trio of former Reds in it to make things slightly more interesting to Reds fans this evening.
First pitch is set for 8:05 PM ET at the Reds’ Goodyear Ballpark.