Prep phenom pitcher Hunter Greene has made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds at the beginning of this season. At the age of 22, Greene is currently the youngest pitcher in major league baseball.
As of Monday, Greene has pitched 13.2 innings and committed 16 strikeouts with the Reds. While having an effective fastball, no major league batter has yet to hit his slider.
With only three starts under his belt, Greene has made waves and even broke records. In his second start against the L.A. Dodgers on the day after Jackie Robinson day, Greene slung 39 pitches that were over 100mph, the most in any start since pitching data began being recorded in 2008.
In the 5.1 innings he pitched, Greene struck out six batters; the Dodgers managed to only get three singles in the first five innings.
“Just to look out and see the stadium, all the lights, and to know I just performed like that in front of friends and family in LA,” Greene said, “a really, really cool moment.”
Once his pitches slowed to under 100mph, the Dodgers found ways to make runs and ultimately won the game 5-2. Against the reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves, Greene made 92 pitches and struck out seven batters.
“I felt great out there,” Greene said after his career debut. “I felt like I was at home. A lot of people don’t look up, but I looked up as soon as I got out there. I wanted to take it all in and enjoy it, but I felt really comfortable out there. Really happy with today. The team did a great job behind me getting the lead early. Put me in a really good position to win and succeed today.”
In his third start against the St. Louis Cardinals, Greens’ pitches slowed to around 97 mph which helped St. Louis win 4-2. The performance did not sully the potential of the young pitcher in the eyes of either of the general managers.
“You could tell early,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said about Greene. “That’s a good arm there. He’s going to do really well in this league.”
Last season, Greene played for the Louisville Bats Triple A team and the Chattanooga Lookouts Double A team, making a combined 139 Strikeouts in a little over 106 innings with the clubs.
In his entire MiLB career, Greene started in 42 games, pitched 179 innings, and made 234 strikeouts. Ultimately, he had a 13-16 record in the games he pitched. Greene missed the entire 2019 season after getting Tommy John surgery, a surgery that fixes a torn ulnar collateral ligament inside the elbow.
Even in his formative years, Greene showed promise in baseball. He was a member of the Urban Youth Academy and the L.A. Rockstars travel ball team. At the age of nine, a scout from the Dodgers called his pitching “impeccable.” By 14, Greene began to get college offers; the next year, he was CIF State Player of the Year.
By his sophomore year at Notre Dame, Greene could chuck out 95mph pitches and hit the ball to 400 feet. He also learned Korean and could play the violin. He also knew the importance of giving back to the community, initiating sock drives for the homeless, coaching the youth of the L.A. Rockstars during clinics, and throwing out the first pitch during Opening Day for the Ladera Little League during his high school years. After being drafted to the Reds, Greene hosted a baseball camp at Darby Park in Inglewood.
Greene also volunteered at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Hollywood where his sister Libriti battled leukemia and had it put in remission.
As he rose into national prominence, he realized the low numbers of African Americans in baseball. With hope, his presence in the major leagues will spark interest in the sport for the next generation of African American males.