Reds' Greene amped up in full-season debut

Highly touted right-hander pumps chest after fanning three in third

Hunter Greene complements an 80-grade fastball with an above-average slider and an average changeup. (Dayton Dragons)

By Josh Jackson / | April 9, 2018 11:54 PM

Pitching in cold weather for the first time, 2017 No. 2 overall Draft pick Hunter Greene showed a bit of fire.

Making his Class A debut, the second-ranked Cincinnati prospect recorded eight strikeouts while holding the opposition to two runs on five hits over three innings in Dayton's 3-2 win over visiting Lake County at Fifth Third Field on Monday.

In his final frame, Greene fanned three in a row to strand two runners in scoring position. He pounded his chest while walking away from the mound.

Video: Greene strikes out side in third

"I knew I was done after that inning, so I knew I could show [emotion] a little bit more," Greene told "I live for situations like that, where you get in a jam and you have to just bear down. That's when you really become a pitcher. That's when you really show you know how to throw in certain counts, your pitches are ready, every single pitch in the arsenal. My team was fired up too. That was a great situation to get out of."

With a game-time temperature of 39 degrees, the native of the Los Angeles area hit 100 mph with his fastball on his first three pitches and regularly worked in the upper-90s.

Gameday box score

"[The cold] actually wasn't bad," the No. 21 overall prospect told "I had some great layers underneath. I had a little heat warmer in my back pocket and we had a rocket-flame thing in the dugout. I was warm and ready to go."

Greene struck out the first batter he faced, but Oscar Gonzalez followed with a single up the middle. Greene whiffed two more in the inning, but not before No. 7 Indians prospect Will Benson singled and Austen Wade doubled to plate two.

The 18-year-old right-hander turned in a 1-2-3 second, punching out two more.

Jorma Rodriguez led off the third with a single and Gonzalez followed with another base hit. They both advanced on a wild pitch, and Greene started the next at-bat 3-0. He buckled down to induce swings-and-misses on a series of sliders, striking out three straight.

"Everybody is sitting dead-red fastball, they're bringing their 'A' game when they come out," Greene told "To pick the right count to throw the secondary pitches is important. I was able to do that a little bit in the last inning and make an adjustment. ... To be able to bounce back, show your maturity and your competitiveness is what I was trying to do. I had a good team behind me to defend and come back with some runs."

MiLB include

Also a standout shortstop and hitter at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, Greene gave up seven runs -- six earned -- while striking out six over 4 1/3 innings across three starts for Rookie-level Billings last year. As a hitter, he went 7-for-30 (.233) with two doubles and a triple over seven games.

Following Greene's exit in the third, righty Austin Orewiler turned in four shutout innings for the win. He permitted one hit and two walks and struck out one.

No. 12 Reds prospect Jose Israel Garcia finished 2-for-4.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @JoshJacksonMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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