Hunter Greene “Machine” is the best pitcher in the Majors under the age of 25 and with his Cincinnati Reds in the thick of the playoff race, he performed like an Ace Wednesday afternoon, striking out 14 Twins which is the most in a single start by a Reds pitcher since 2000.
That earns him the top spot on Week 24 of our #HighFive list.
1. Hunter Greene “Machine”
The Reds have a little over a week left to shock the world and earn themselves a trip to the playoff with one of the youngest rosters in the Majors. If they want to accomplish what most outside of their clubhouse believed they could not do, they need someone to step up and be the Ace of their rotation and Hunter Greene is that dude.
In Wednesday afternoon’s contest against the Minnesota Twins, Greene threw seven innings, striking out 14 and allowing just one run on three hits and a walk. Since 1906, Greene is the ninth pitcher in Reds franchise history to strike out 14 in a game.
That marked the sixth time in his career Greene K’d at least 10 in a start as he lowered his season ERA to 4.24 and increased his strikeout total to 143 in just 20 games this year.
He also has given up three or less runs for four consecutive starts.
Greene’s next appearance on the mound will be Wednesday in an interstate matchup against the Guardians in Cleveland.
2. “TA” Tim Anderson
Tim Anderson is ending his rough 2023 season strong as he reminds folks, he still has the skills that led him to a batting title in 2019.
A .444 batting average for Anderson over his last seven games is a far cry from the struggles he faced at the plate this year. He has hit safely in seven straight games and in nine out of 11 since September 8th. The drama around Anderson will continue to circulate this off-season as his White Sox have a $14 million team option that they can pick up on him.
If they choose not to, he will enter free agency and do what I think is best for his career, get far, far away from the south side of Chicago.
3. Ke’Bryan Hayes
By this time next year, Ke’Bryan Hayes has a chance to be considered the best third baseman in the Majors. His play over the last seven games gave us a look at his potential on both sides of the ball.
The soon to be named National League Gold Glove third baseman is slashing .448/.452/.655 with five RBI, a homer and a stolen base.
He is currently fourth amongst Major League third in batting average and 10th in slugging percentage and total hits.
4. Marcus Semien
Marcus Semien knows what is at stake for his Rangers and is answering the call with big time performances in what is the closest divisional race since 1969. Entering Friday, the Rangers, Mariners and Astros are all separated by a half a game with only 10 contests remaining.
Semien, who saw his last playoff race in 2021 end with his Blue Jays missing out on October’s greatest tournament by one game, is doing his part to make sure that is not the result for him in 2023.
He is slashing .320/.452/.560 over his last seven games with eight RBI, five walks and a homer, which was his franchise record 9th leadoff bomb of the year.
This weekend Semien and his Rangers take on J.P. Crawford and the Seattle Mariners in the final home series of the year for Texas.
5. Jordan “Sky” Walker
Jordan “Sky” Walker showed off his clutch gene with the first game-winning home run of his career Saturday afternoon against the Phillies.
Walker has put a ribbon on a successful rookie campaign with a great month of September.
With 10 days left this month, he is batting .302 with four home runs, eight RBI, two doubles and his first career game-winning bomb in the eighth inning last Saturday afternoon.
That game began with a diving catch by Walker to rob the game’s first hitter of extra bases.
He now has hits in eight straight games and four multi-hit games this month.