Hunter Greene Shows Off Sharp Slider

Righthander Hunter Greene‘s fastball has garnered a fair share of attention, but in his full-season debut his slider that was the star.

Greene hit triple digits in his first start for low Class A Dayton, but he threw several outstanding sliders in his three-inning appearance that featured eight strikeouts.

The 18-year-old’s first pitch in the game featured 39 degrees in the air and 100 mph on the radar gun. But even after three straight 100 mph fastballs, it was a slider that earned Greene his first strikeout.

In his third and final inning, Greene gave up back-to-back singles and allowed the runners to move up before striking out Lake County’s third, fourth and fifth hitters to end his night.

Because Greene stopped pitching for his Sherman Oaks, Calif., high school team last April before being drafted No. 2 overall in June, the Reds are monitoring his workload closely. He threw 53 pitches (35 strikes) in his 2018 debut.

Not only will the Reds be closely monitoring Greene’s innings, but the team will also make sure to closely watch how he registers those innings.

“There are ranges that we’re aiming at—what we want to do is reward efficiency in outings while still aiming at the overall picture,” farm director Jeff Graupe said. “What we’re looking for is for individual game pitch counts to grow to what we think is a healthy point throughout the year.”

Greene’s pitching coach at Dayton is Seth Etherton, a 1998 first-rounder who built a rapport with the teenager last year at Rookie-level Billings.

Etherton and others will be charged with teaching Greene and the rest of Dayton’s pitchers how to to get comfortable in the five-day routine that starters have to find in the big leagues.

“It’s a mix of who he has been and who he is going to need to be,” Graupe said, “and figuring out what the best routine is moving forward to shape his year.”

>> Catcher Chris Okey didn’t tell anyone his left hand hurt last season and played through pain the entire season. He learned his lesson, because this year he told the Reds of a right wrist injury before the season, which he began on the disabled list.

>> Nick Senzel started the season playing second base at Triple-A Louisville, but when big league third baseman Eugenio Suarez broke his thumb, the Reds called up Alex Blandino and shifted Senzel back to third base, his natural position. Senzel also played shortstop in spring training.

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