Hunter Greene will have some new hardware to add to his shelves as he was just named as the National League Player of the Week for his performance over the last seven days. The Cincinnati Reds rookie made two starts and threw 12.0 innings between his games against the Arizona Diamondbacks and St. Louis Cardinals. In that span he allowed just three hits, one run, walked two batters, and he picked up 15 strikeouts. With an ERA of 0.75, a WHIP of 0.42, and he’s held batters to a .079 average while having just two walks and 15 strikeouts it’s tough to imagine another pitcher, or batter for that matter, having a week that could top that one.
For the most part last week was just more of the same Hunter Greene that we’ve been watching over the last month. On May 5th the 22-year-old rookie was lit up by Milwaukee for eight runs in 2.2 innings. His ERA after the game – which was his 5th start of the season – was 8.71. Things weren’t looking great as he had just allowed five home runs to the Brewers before getting out of the 3rd inning. The script has flipped since then, though. Greene has now made seven starts in the month+ since then and he’s allowed just 14 runs in 39.1 innings – that’s good for a 3.20 ERA. He’s also walked just 15 batters, allowed just five home runs, and he’s struck out 50 of the 158 batters he’s faced in that span. In his last five starts he’s walked just six hitters.
There’s been plenty of adjustments for Greene since the start of the season. He’s switched up his pitch usage several times. He’s been able to manipulate his slider to give two different looks on the pitch. The usage of his fastball has been going down despite him having the fastest fastball in Major League Baseball. He still hasn’t thrown a change up to a single right-handed batter all season, but he’s finding success right now without that being on the table.
Over at Fangraphs earlier today, Ben Clemens took a look at Hunter Greene and how he was utilizing his pitches to take advantage of his stuff and take advantage of hitters. Go give it a read.