Reds' Greene hits 104 mph in Triple-A debut

June 18th, 2021

's Triple-A debut had a little bit of everything: triple-digit fastball velocity, a bevy of strikeouts, a handful of mistake pitches and another glimpse into the Cincinnati Reds’ future. That’s what debuts are for.

In the electric first inning of an up-and-down start, baseball’s No. 56 overall prospect touched 104.3 miles per hour with a fastball to Ryan O'Hearn, according to his new team. He also yielded four solo home runs and a walk while and striking out eight over four frames in his first outing for Triple-A Louisville, a 6-5 loss at Omaha.

Greene started his night in a manner befitting the modern game with nothing but strikeouts and homers through the opening inning. The right-hander fanned Alcides Escobar to kick off his start before allowing a solo blast to left by Kyle Isbel. After rebounding with a strikeout of Emmanuel Rivera, Greene surrendered homers to center and left-center by O'Hearn and Ryan McBroom The 21-year-old finished the barrage with a strikeout of Meibrys Vilora on his 29th pitch of the inning.

Touching 104 with his fastball in the first, Greene entered rarefied air. Since 2008, only five pitchers in the Major Leagues have reached that velocity, and three of them (Neftali Feliz, Tayron Guerrero and Mauricio Cabrera) have only matched it on a single pitch. Aroldis Chapman (67 times) and Jordan Hicks (12) are the only pitchers to do it more than once.

From there, Greene settled in. Cincinnati’s No. 2 prospect retired the side in order in the second and minimized damage in the third, allowing a two-out homer to center by Rivera and following it with a walk to O’Hearn but fanning McBroom to wrap the frame.

Greene finished on a strong note by striking out the side in order in the fourth. In total, the 2017 second-overall pick threw 73 pitches, 46 for strikes.

Opening the year with Double-A Chattanooga, Greene was dominant. Over 41 innings spanning seven starts, he allowed just nine runs on 27 hits and struck out 60 against 14 walks, all of it adding up to a 5-0 record and 1.98 ERA. Those outings were Greene’s first since 2018 after he missed the 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery and 2020 due to the pandemic.