By Conrad Clowers
Cincinnati Herald Contributor
Very few players have been drafted and become franchise saviors. Ken Griffey Jr. was one. In the late 80’s Griffey was considered the Lebron James of baseball. Chris Bryant was the savior of the Chicago Cubs leading the franchise to their first title last year. The Reds have likely their most ballyhooed draftee of all time. Hunter Greene from Sherman Oaks, California, was selected number two overall and number one by the Reds.
At first glance, Greene looks to be the second coming of Aroldis Chapman. His fastball has been clocked at 102 mph.
History may not be kind to Greene. Historically young men who throw hard in high school have not had the success in the majors one would think they would have. The 17-year-old Greene is a right-handed pitcher and played at Notre Dame High School. With every great talent, critics have to find a knock on a player. The one for Greene? His other pitches are known to be a work in progress. Not a great breaking ball or slider. Offensively Greene isn’t your average hitting pitcher. The young man can hit. The Sherman Oaks native is considered one of the best power hitters in the draft.
The Reds acquired a bonified star when they drafted Greene. Green became only the second prep right hander ever to land on the cover of the famed Sports Illustrated magazine.
As anxious as Reds fans and management may be to win and witness another star, don’t expect to see Greene anytime soon in the Major Leagues. Once the star high schooler gets to the majors, the clock will start ticking on time served and arbitration eligibility. As does everything, it will come back to money. Greene will have to really develop and refine his pitches to become a successful Major League pitcher. A fastball, no matter how hard it’s thrown, will get you a front row view of watching a home run in the Major Leagues. Hitters are far too good and disciplined to be defeated on one sole pitch.
One thing is for sure. The 6-3, 195-pound pitcher will be the most closely monitored prospect in Reds’ history. With the poor performances of Reds starting pitching in 2017, Greene and anyone else who can help this team will be welcomed with open arms.