Hunter Greene throws hard. You know it. I know it. Everyone in baseball knows it. Earlier this year he was seen reaching 105 MPH with his fastball while out in Goodyear in spring training. During the regular season he’s topped out at 104 MPH a few times. He’s routinely been sitting in the 99-102 MPH range for both Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville this season. This past week he put together one of his best starts in the minor leagues as he allowed one hit in 6.1 innings, walked one batter, and he struck out 10. That landed him on the Baseball America Hot Sheet for his performance. It’s the note within that really turns some heads.
In that start (see the highlights above), Hunter Greene was clocked as throwing 37 fastballs at 100 MPH or higher. According to JJ Cooper of Baseball America that is the most 100+ MPH pitches we’ve ever been able to track in a single game during the pitch tracking era, which dates back to 2007. In the big leagues only Jacob deGrom has thrown 30 100 MPH pitches in a game. He did so on June 5th this season. It’s the only time it’s ever happened in Major League Baseball. Greene has done it three different times this season in the minors.
After beginning his season in Double-A with the Lookouts, Greene was promoted after seven starts with Chattanooga. He’s now made nine starts with Louisville in Triple-A. Between his two stops he’s thrown 85.2 innings on the season with a 2.84 ERA, 64 hits allowed, eight home runs allowed, walked 31 batters, and he’s struck out 120.
The draft picks are showing up
After quite a bit of a delay to get drafted players ramped up after many didn’t play for nearly two months between their season ending and the draft taking place, we’re starting to see a handful of players on the Arizona Complex League Reds roster and getting a little bit of playing time this past week. So far there has not been a pitcher from the Reds draft class pitch in a game. Here’s how the five position players have performed so far in their limited action.
Velocity doesn’t do much for me. Can he pitch?
I’ve checked the video that I shared within the article and it does appear that he is pitching.
This got an audible laugh from me! I loved it, thanks Doug.
That’s very impressive. The guy’s today are bigger and stronger. It is somewhat misleading though because they moved the radar position from years back which benefits today’s pitchers on radar vs. other decades. Some science geeks measured and calculated that Nolan Ryan was still the fastest freak arm of all time. Add that to the mileage that he put on his arm and nobody will top that.
The “science guys” got the math wrong. Ryan was, though, a freak of nature then and still now. I don’t know how many times he was at 100 MPH in a given game – we’ll never really know that one. But the “Nolan Ryan was throwing 108 MPH” like the “science guys” said is simply incorrect. It’s presumptive, bad math. They didn’t factor in so many things that we know that they should have factored in – but there were things that they simply can’t know to make an accurate data set. The same pitch can be measured at a specific point in terms of velocity, but measure different closer to or further from release. How much spin a baseball has comes into play on this, and we just don’t know. The precise location that’s being measured matters, too. These things were not accounted for in that whole thing about Nolan Ryan. Nor was the whole fact that it’s just unfathomable that it’s based on a game in which Ryan knew he was being measured, but how about a 9 MPH difference from his top fastball velo and low fastball velo in almost every inning – which tells us that the device they were using was incredibly unreliable.
That was a lot – but as someone who understands the math based on all that we’ve actually learned about how pitches work in the last 15 years with pitch tracking abilities, the stuff that they were using to do their math was insanely flawed and I’ve been mad about it since.
All you have to do is measure the amount of time that elapses from the time a pitcher releases the ball until it either crosses the plate or hits the catcher’s mitt. That’s all the amount of time that a hitter has to react to a pitch.
How are you measuring that? Because we don’t have video at a high enough frame rate to come within about 4 MPH of any sort of accuracy today. Older video had even fewer frames of video, which means that the range was even wider. Then we need to also note that older video was interpolated, which “blends” objects it can’t “Freeze” because they are moving too fast, which is what a baseball is doing. Then, of course, is the angle at which you are seeing the pitch from and you can’t actually tell when the ball reaches the plate. Oh, and you can’t use “when it hits the mitt” because catchers don’t all receive the pitch at the same point from the mound.
People need to remember about Ryan, sure , he had an awesome fastball and may have had it up to 108 at times. However, early in his career, he was wild. He may have led the league in K’s, but he also in the league leaders in walks. Overall each season, he really wasn’t a successful pitcher until, I would say, till his 5th season in the league. Even then, he only had 4 seasons where he won 19 or more games. What made him great was the K’s and that he was that good, however good you believe he was, for such a long time. He really didn’t get his walks under control until about his 11th season in the league.
Plus he had that Texas tough guy brawler mystique
Doug, I happened to be at this game in saint paul and almost wrote a game recap to send in, mostly because I was so inspired by greene’s pitching. It’s not that he only throws hard. Yes, in this game he could throw 103 at will. But he also had some pitches he was throwing in the upper 80s with movement. Those are the makings of a great pitcher, someone who can change the speed.
Jose barerro (apologies if I misspelled that) looked amazing in this game too. His defense especially. He made several plays that I’m not sure the average major league SS would have made.
No need to obfuscate the matter with unnecessary technical details related to video technology, then versus now, although I appreciate that you have attempted to analyze the issue to the utmost minutiae. The video from the 70s and 80s to now is not that much different in measuring the time that elapses from event A to event B. Otherwise, human voices would either be sped up or slowed down to the point of being nearly unintelligible or unrecognizable.
All you have to do is use a stopwatch. Measure the time between when the ball is released and when it hits the mitt. Use sound if you want instead of video. It’s really just that simple.
I’ve understood Greene delivers 2 plus offerings aside the fastball such as slider and changeup so it’s only a matter of getting experience and intelligence to become a really really elite pitcher… truly i don’t remember a Reds pitching prospect with this upside and no ceiling as Greene…
Doug, I’m not sure how they did the math. Maybe you should do a video to refute it. I just know that there are a few HOF players who might disagree with you. I also don’t trust the league itself to really know one way or another. The ball isn’t the exact same either. They want fast pitchers and home runs to entice fans. The steroids, juices balls and these guys calibrate the guns. I don’t know one way or another but he’s definitely an interesting prospect. It’s probably a safe bet that he won’t have a more dominating career than Ryan had. Anyways, great to read your piece.
There was this guy about 8 years ago or maybe it was only 6 years but anyway, his name was Aroldis Chapman he was a pretty darn good looking prospect too.
And the FO, in panic , gave him away for next to nothing.
Doug – Thanks for sharing. He looks good on the mound. Exciting to have Greene & Lodolo in the wings. Hopefully both will help keep the Reds competitive for a number of years to come!
Easy gas – FB command and no one-dimensional approach to the at-bat. Certainly love the “I’ve got 2-strikes” approach. A couple of Reds starters could learn from that.
“A couple of Reds starters could learn from that.”
This is very encouraging along with the comments about his command and presence. If he can contribute to a run (via BP role) in September, that’s great. If not, he should be on track to be something very special in 2022. Add Lodolo to that mix shortly afterward, and I think our SP rotation will be just fine. Definitely makes me want to hang on to The Hulk to get the complete opposite effect.
In some ways you could see how a pitcher with such good stuff as Hunter Greene might not have needed to pitch (as opposed to throwing) prior to reaching the higher levels of minor league ball. No need to locate or deceive when no one can hit your fastball even if they know it’s coming. So to see that mix of effective pitches is really encouraging. That heater will get you to the bigs. Learning to pitch will keep you there. Hard to see how the Reds keep Greene and Lodolo out of the rotation in 2022. And that’s really exciting for the Reds near future.
It seems the hope with him was always that he is mature enough to realize that he needs to pitch and not just throw. Now it seems that the hopes are being fulfilled
Any sense of how many more innings Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo will pitch this year?
Greene – not sure.
Lodolo should be good to keep throwing the rest of the year. He missed a bunch of time with the blister issues, and even when he’s come back he’s been limited on his pitch count. He hasn’t even reached 50 innings yet this season.
This is off subject but looking ahead to next season at potential FAs it looks like we have a 10 million option on Miley and and a 7.5 million option on Barnhart. Castellanous ($16,000,000) can opt out and Lorenzen($4,437,500) and Givens($4,050,000) will be FAs with no options. Also Wilson ($1,200,000), Hembree($1,250,000) and Brach ($570,000) will be FAs. Who do we keep with Greene, Lodolo and Ashcraft not far away?
You keep Wade Miley, without question. Obviously you keep Castellanos at that price if he says he wants to come back….. but I just can’t see him not testing free agency.
I agree. We need to seriously consider Lorenzen and Givens also. I guess their performance from now to season’s end would dictate that since theirs is a small sample size at this point. Same for Wilson.
Consider them, for sure. But the decision isn’t just up to one part of the other like it is with Miley/Castellanos.
We definitely will need to address the BP somehow for next season. We don’t want to experience what we did this season although it was largely due to injuries and non performance in an instance or two.
Hasn’t Miley had a long history of injury issues ?
That would be the big question for me if I was to sign the guy .
He’s pitched like a guy worth $30M this year and he’s owed $10M. You bring that guy back 100% of the time.
Out of that group, Miley is a no brainer, barring injury, to be back.
I suspect they will have conversations with Lorenzen, Givens, and Castellanos and see if they can find some middle ground.
I doubt Barnhart’s option is picked up. Stephenson probably becomes primary C in 2022 with some unknown backup, who could end up being Barnhart, just cheaper than the option.
Do we think Kolozsvary is close enough that he will be next up and therefore allow the Reds to let Tucker go?
I say pick up Barnharts option and quit letting Bob off the hook. He can afford it.
The Reds would be crazy not to pick up Barnhart’s option for 2022. He’s become an above average hitting catcher, and more importantly he’s much, much better behind the plate than Stephenson and that matters A LOT.
Assuming the DH becomes a reality, there will be plenty of AB’s available for Stephenson. And $7.5 million is a bargain for a catcher with the talent that Barnhart has. Personally, I think the Reds have the perfect mix of catchers for what will end up being a little north of $8 million a year. Sign me up all day for that.
@ Tampa, looking back a FA catchers from last offseason, Barnhart actually is good value @ 7.5M. He’ll be exercised I’d guess.
I agree with all the posts on Barnhart. He is too valuable to let go and Stephenson has had some injury problems in the past. Plus, you need 2 good catchers because of all the wear and tear. Both can play 1B and DH all along.
I’m here to concur that a good LH hitting MLB catcher is a rare competitive advantage https://tht.fangraphs.com/bl-tr-part-2-the-best-left-handed-hitting-catchers-in-major-league-history/
And while you’re at it, check out the far right espn (should be sorted) DWAR column top to bottom, and then click over into the offensive mode rankings from the header
In reply to Alan Horn. Pick up options on both Miley and Barnhart, but let Castellanos go at whatever high price I expect he (and his agent) will command. Besides, we need to get more speed in the outfield, and unless we find a center fielder that can hit and run, either Winker or Castellanos has to go. Again not an easy decision, but I believe we need to start injecting more more speed throughout the lineup and at much less cost. Spend that money on pitching, e.g. Miley, Lorenzen and Givens.
Greene has seemingly put it all together. There will be growing pains, but the sky’s the limit (if he stays healthy). Of course, the health thing can be said about anyone. The Reds rotation the next couple of years should be imposing.
On the other topic above, with MLB moving the date of the draft back to the All Star break, NO drafted pitchers league wide have started their professional careers this summer. Too big a risk considering their long layoffs.
what i like about Greene is his personality. He has a charisma that people like. kind of reminds me of Griffey Junior. Fans will travel far to see him play . that is why i was kind of hoping he would develop as an everyday position player for the sake of our attendance.
i remember a cold, Dayton Ohio early April Tuesday evening when he pitched and the place was packed!
Dayton sold out every game for 20 years whether there was a spot starter or Johnny Cueto on rehab starting.
That’s awesome Doug. We had Red Sox rookie ball forever here and then the Marlins. People wouldnt go and then we lost it. Seen slot of great players come through here and it’s sad I wont see that again in my lifetime.
yeah but just because there was a sellout doesn’t necessarily mean that the park is full. i mean it was like a cloudy mid 40s evening with windy conditions and the place was packed. people will show up to see this guy I am telling you
Greene talked about working on his change up when he was promoted to Louisville. Any idea if he is? If so, how it looks?
He may not need it if he can throw all the time like he is throwing in the video – the fastball is impressive, but that slider looks every bit as good – but a third pitch couldn’t hurt.
I remember when Gary Nolan and, a little later, Don Gullett came up. Not sure I’ve looked forward to anyone coming up as much since.
Speaking of a change, why hasn’t Garrett developed one? That and a little better control would make him a much better RP.
He threw a changeup when he was a starter. I remember a game vs the Orioles where he was whiffing guys on the changeup. I think secondary pitches are really hard to master when you’re 2-0 on everyone. They might swing at his slider, but its usually not over the plate either.
He’s just not that good and the 3 batter minimum doesn’t help.
Hunter Greene can throw a baseball,but now Triple A coaches have to teach him to pitch. Wow what potential and size an youth. Be patient Reds.
Hope he is able to bring this level of performance to the Reds as a starting pitcher. Personally, next year will be soon enough. But I’d really rather they didn’t think he’s a bullpen answer. Nor Lodolo.
I’m with you on this LDS… keep those two only as starting pitchers. I’ll be a little disappointed if either of them are called up to be relievers this season.
Early prediction about 2022 rotation? Lodolo, Greene, Castillo, Gray, Miley? With Mahle and Gutierrez in the bullpen?
Alot of teams are going with a 6 man rotation now. Idk? Good question. Lets see how Lodolo does at AAA first? Mahle is at 3.78! Thats not that easy to accomplish in gabp. If Vlad keeps working that changeup then he might get under 4 himself. Thats hard to push aside.
Personally I would consider trading Sonny in the offseason. His contract is affordable and he’s not popping 95 like he did when he first came to the Reds. They’re going to need a spot in the rotation and salary relief as well.
Now might be the time to move Sonny. You would have Mahle in the pen and Ashcraft on the way in case of injury to a starter. Not to mention the salary relief that you mentioned.
Mahle always seems to ramp up in velocity and seems vulnerable in the 1st inning. Idk? I don’t see him as a reliever at all? Maybe we put together a package for a CF?
That is a good thought. I don’t think the Reds have a strong short term candidate for CF. I liked what I saw of the Pirates CF Reynolds.
As sure as they package and move Mahle, he will land somewhere that drills pitch efficiency into him and he will punch through his ceiling. Sure as they don’t…….
Early prediction for 2022 is our current 5-man rotation. Then we have Greene, Lodolo, and Sant. starting for the Bats. There are always injuries, and being 7 to 8 deep in your rotation is needed, not a luxury.
I would think Greene is our first starter up once there’s an injury, and ready to lock in a starting position fulltime starting in 2023.
For my money, Greene could be dropped into the MLB rotation now and be no worse than the #3 in game to game results.
Did he have the maturity or physical stamina to be the rotation all year? No. Does he have the innings and stamina to finish the year out in that spot? That’s an open question.
When Greene was moved to AAA, there appeared to be a change in his pitching pattern. He did not throw his high heat for strikes as he had at AA. Instead, he concentrated on working the bottom of the zone with his fastball and secondary pitches along with spotting to locations.
His most recent game seemed to be a coming out party for him as he effectively put together the facets had been working on with his high heat. He looked like an even more dangerous version of his AA self.
I don’t see any way a healthy Hunter Greene can be kept out of the 2022 rotation unless the docs or trainers say he needs an additional year to further mature physically.
I know the game thread hasn’t been posted yet , but why in the heck is Suarez in this lineup again !!!!!???? This is exactly why I’m not gonna give Bell credit for the way this team has been playing lately . They are winning despite him . I don’t care if Atlanta has a lefty on the mound or not – SUAREZ GOT NO BUSINESS PLAYING !!!!!!
Just crazy to continue running him out there !!!!
Agree. I think someone higher up(owner) might be behind it. It makes no sense and leaves a huge hole in the Reds lineup.
Someone on twitter posted the numbers and Suarez is a better hitter against lefties than Moose is over the last two seasons. Suarez has been terrible against them. Moose has been even worse. So you should probably care.
There are some legit reasons to talk about David Bell’s managing. This is not one of them.
Yes, thank you.
I like the lefty/righty platoon with Suarez/Moose. And this will give Moose the majority of the playing time.
Suarez vs LHP since 2020: .152/.258/.369
Moose vs LHP since 2020: .186/.300/.305
Wouldn’t say Moose is worse.
It’s close, but Suarez has a better OPS and wRC+ versus lefties than Moustakas does since the start of 2020.
There’s a justification for it. Some people just want to be very mad about it. Moustakas is starting tomorrow according to Bell, who said last week that the two would be in a platoon over the next 10 days.
I repeat – I don’t care . Suarez doesn’t pass the eye test period . That’s good enough for me . I’ve seen enough of his plate appearances THIS year to know that Moose can’t be any worse than this .
Can’t go by numbers always in this sport . Gotta go by feel and instinct sometimes ( of which Bell has none )
I don’t care about the facts is an argument one can make but it is not a good one. Definitely cant go by them when they dont fit the narrative I want.
Some of you on this board will never be happy. Every single thing thats done must be questioned and be some move that makes David Bell the dumbest human being alive even if the facts say he is making a call that has reasoning behind it.
Go Reds. Hope its a winner tonight. I am going to go grab a beer and enjoy the game instead of hate watching it hoping I can log onto this board and yell about how stupid the manager is.
I’ve been supportive of Bell but tonight’s line-up has me completely befuddled
AA for Winker ?????
Jesse Winker and his .539 OPS against left handed pitching not being in the lineup in favor of Aristides Aquino and his .898 OPS against left handed pitching has you befuddled?
RH hitters in platoon situations (not saying Winker is to that point) seem to get the short end coming and going, especially if the LH guy does well. Everybody recalls all the good things the LH guy did in his 70% of playing time; and, for some reason, they recall more of the not as good things the RH guy did in his 30% even if overall the numbers say by % stats he was also very good.
Based on our current roster, it would be managerial malpractice not to start AA against a lefty starter (unless he’s hurt).
20 games in 20 games -every one needs a blow. Winker’s day off needs to come against a lefty. Votto got to DH last night. India needs one soon as does Farmer. Moose should get a bunch in a row soon but as bad as his nagging foot was, its a good idea not to throw him 7 games in a row, Give him 4/6 and then 7/10 and 11/15.
Braves have lost Acuna and Ozuna. Gotta take 2 of 3 here.
Bullpen should be fresh. Hoffman gave a nice 2.2 innings.
Hopefully Antone is up soon.
Big 6 games and need all hands on deck and all 26 healthy and ready to go. August is the dog days of baseball and with only 60 games in 2020, lots of tired guys I am sure.
Cubs down 2 bottom 7th. 1st/2nd nobody out and bases loaded/1 out, but Milw just doesn’t lose these like the Reds have. Hope I’m wrong?
Velocity is still only secondary to me. The minor league history is riddled with pitchers who could throw hard. Can the guy hit his targets with more than one pitch? Can me keep the other batters off balance? Where, the answer to both of these questions would require pitchers to be able to have more than one pitch and be able to throw them at any time.
I think Greene’s numbers so far in the minors show the guy can pitch. He is not just a Fastball pitcher only. Maybe the secondary pitches are not top notch like the fastball is but if he can get quality out of his slider and changeup overall He is going to be a pretty good MLB pitcher for a long time.’
That’s already been proven. How do you think he got to triple~A? Are you watching any of the games or posted video? How do you think he’s gotten to 120k’s ?
“Can the guy hit his targets with more than one pitch?” Btw, that feat doesn’t mean pitches don’t get hit. But to answer your question, every pitcher including CY’s continue to work on landing their pitches. It’s always a work in progress also with a little luck on their side.