Hunter Greene's season was just starting to pick up steam. Now, it's come to a full stop.
MLB.com's No. 18 overall prospect will miss the rest of the season after being diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right [pitching] elbow, the Reds announced Friday. He will rehab at the organization's Spring Training facility in Goodyear, Arizona, but no exact timetable was given for a possible return in 2019.
"Right now, it's rehab, it's non-surgical," Reds general manager Nick Krall told MLB.com. "At this point, we're going to evaluate it as we go through the offseason and go from there."
Greene was in the midst of his first full Minor League season after being taken by Cincinnati with the second overall pick in the 2017 Draft. He got off to a rough start with Class A Dayton, posting a 10.06 ERA through his first seven starts, but pitched to a 2.63 ERA with 63 strikeouts and only 13 walks in his 11 starts (51 1/3 innings) since. Overall, his 30.3 percent strikeout was the best among Midwest League pitchers with at least 60 innings pitched.
Greene last took the mound on July 26 but lasted only two innings and 30 pitches before coming out.
"He threw a bullpen [session] the other day and he didn't feel right. Came out of his bullpen and got checked out by [medical director] Dr. [Timothy] Kremchek ... the next day," Krall said.
Video: Dayton's Greene throwing heat
The 18-year-old right-hander was a must-follow prospect for his elite velocity throughout the summer. He set a Fifth Third Field record by hitting 102 mph on the radar gun in that July 26 start, breaking a record previously set by himself, Aroldis Chapman and Aneurys Zabala. He also wowed spectators at the Futures Game last month in Washington with 19 fastballs that each hit triple-digits, topping out at 103.1 mph. His slider is also considered above-average.
Greene's injury means that both of the Reds' top two prospects have had their 2018 campaigns come to premature ends. Infielder Nick Senzel has been out since late June after undergoing surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right index finger.