Reds' Greene delivers in professional debut

No. 2 overall pick triples in two runs; Chukars' Jones goes 5-for-5

Hunter Greene arrived in Billings on Monday, the day after celebrating his 18th birthday. (Paul Ruhter/Billings Mustangs)

By Kelsie Heneghan / MiLB.com | August 9, 2017 2:16 AM ET

No matter what round a player is drafted in, it's all the same game once he steps on the field in the Minor Leagues.

On Wednesday, second overall pick Hunter Greene delivered a two-run triple in his professional debut for Rookie-level Billings, while 29th-rounder Travis Jones recorded his second five-hit game of the season for Idaho Falls as the Chukars posted a 10-7 victory at Dehler Park.


Gameday box score


"It was awesome -- getting up there and being able to hear such great fans cheering me on and motivating me and helping me out and giving me support while I was up there," Greene said in a statement. "Hearing all their voices was really cool."

Fans had been ancitipating Greene's debut since he signed with the Reds on July 7. The 18-year-old's biggest fan, his father Russell, was among the crowd of 3,524.

"I heard my dad yell all the way from center field," the Reds' No. 2 prospect said. "I got to make eye contact with him and give him some knuckles in the air."

While Greene began the game 0-for-3, Jones was emerging from a 2-for-9 funk. The Royals outfield prospect knocked an RBI double to right in the second inning, singled to right in the third and singled to center in the fifth.

"Just trying to put the ball in play for the most part. I've been pretty lucky with balls in the hole in these five-hit games. I haven't been hitting the ball in the hole the past couple games, so it's nice to see that," the 21-year-old said. "I just try to hit the ball to where it's pitched; if it goes to right field, center field, it doesn't really matter to me."

Jones led off the seventh with another single, but Greene made his mark in the bottom half. MLB.com's No. 21 overall prospect ripped a two-run triple to center for his first pro hit, bringing the Mustangs within 9-7.

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"Being able to see a pitch that I like and drive it deep to center field to get those two runs in to support the team was really awesome," said Greene, the Mustangs' designated hitter. "Being able to contribute at the plate was something that I really wanted to do today, and I did that with one of my at-bats."

In the ninth, Jones capped his night with an RBI double. The University of Texas, who also had five hits on July 21 at Helena, notched his seventh stolen base of the season.

"I like to perform well, just like everybody else," Jones said. "I just like to see myself do well along with everyone else doing well on the field."


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As the Pioneer League season winds down, Greene is likely to take the mound as the Reds said they are open to him playing both sides of the ball. For now, he savored his first steps as a Minor Leaguer.

"I know it's a process," the California native said. "Being able to get to a point where I'm comfortable might take a while, but making adjustments is the name of the game and I was able to do that in the last at-bat that I had."

Reliever Geoffrey Bramblett (4-1) got the win, despite allowing two runs on four hits with four strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings. Andrew Beckwith fanned two and yielded a hit in two frames for his first career save.

Kelsie Heneghan is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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