As a seven-year-old kid, Hunter Greene became the youngest player to join the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, California. Ten years later, he joined two exclusive more clubs – he graced the cover of Sports Illustrated as a high schooler and touched 102 mph on an in-game radar gun.
With his combination of talent and work ethic, it was a given Greene would be a top pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. The only question was whether he’d be taken as a shortstop or pitcher.
“I was getting interest at both positions,” Greene said. “It really came down to the needs of each team, and at the end of the day, 100 is 100.”
That elite velocity was among the main reasons the Cincinnati Reds jumped at the opportunity to use the second overall pick on Greene and begin developing him as one of the game’s most top pitching prospects.
Talent Meets Tech
Greene joined the Reds organization with an electric fastball and a ton of hype. And he wasn’t the only fresh face the organization brought in.
Driveline’s Kyle Boddy and Eric Jagers were hired by the Reds as pitching coordinators, and helped introduce Greene to new training methods, utilizing technology like Rapsodo.
“The Reds made some great moves in the offseason, bringing in Boddy and Jags. I started talking to them and learning more about tech, and it really took off from there,” Greene said. “The instant feedback has been great.”
Getting the immediate feedback from Rapsodo is the first part of the equation for Greene. What he does with that feedback is just as critical.
“One of the most important things a pitcher can do to prepare for their starts is focusing on catch play,” Greene said. “After I get on the machine and see what’s working, I take that with me to catch play and make sure I’m continuing to do the right things.”
Greene’s baseball life got off to a great start in the previously mentioned youth academy in Compton. It’s clear he hasn’t forgotten the impact that experience had on him, and he’s doing his part to provide similar experiences to kids today.
For three years, Greene has hosted a free baseball camp for kids. Quick reminder…he’s 20 years old.
The Hunter Greene Baseball Fest started in his home city of Los Angeles, and he’s since brought it with him to Cincinnati.
“It’s a free camp for kids from 9-14 years old, and we bring in a lot of professional players and coaches,” Greene said. “I think for kids to get access to that level of coaching, like I did, is special.”
On the latest episode of the Rapsodo Baseball Podcast, Greene talks about all this, and what life is like on the Cincinnati Reds taxi squad.