The Dayton Dragons met the media Wednesday, which of course meant our first chance to talk to Hunter Greene here in the Gem City.
The newest crown jewel of the Cincinnati Reds farm system did not disappoint.
He said he wants to be one of the guys here even though he’s presumably the only one who has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and he seemed to fit in fine with the diverse group of returning veterans, college grads, high school products and international prospects.
As someone who has been covering phenom teenage athletes since not long after I was a teenager (though several years after I lost any claim to being a phenom), I was curious to see how Greene compared to highly recruited college football and basketball players.
Greene certainly passed the, “Not your average teenager” test, both verbal and physical sections.
He’s all of 6-3 and has a wiry-but-still-muscular build.
He already handles interviews like an old pro – but with some substance, not the cliches that are often the life raft of youngsters not quite ready to be quizzed on the intricacies of sports or life at this level.
Greene said he thinks the plan is for him to throw 120 innings this season then shut it down.
He’s not going to hit. The Reds will still DH for him even when he starts so there’s no risk of injury that could slow his development.
That surprised me a little, but it makes sense.
My truck thermometer said it was 37 degrees in Dayton today, which is also the temp I keep my refrigerator at, but the California native said this isn’t the first time he’s seen snow.
He said he will have to get used to the cold, but it didn’t seem to bother him much while chatting with reporters on the windy field.
Greene still had had plenty of time to talk about sketching and art, hobbies he plans to maintain here as he embarks on the next chapter of his life.
I think we ran out of questions before he ran out of answers. Maybe we assumed he wouldn’t want us to take up too much of his time so we tried to keep it short? If so, I guess it’s just a matter of how we’re conditioned when it comes to dealing with the biggest stars.
But that’s a funny thing about this business. Just when you think you’ve got it all figure out, a Hunter Greene comes along to remake the picture.