Hunter Greene To Make History With Opening Day Start In Cincinnati | How Does He Rank Among #HIGHFIVE MLBbro Pitchers?
Hunter Greene, Triston McKenzie and Josiah Gray are Black pitchers ages 25-and-under that will take major strides in 2023. They are also two of the six projected melanated mound marauders listed as starters on MLB rosters.
When Hunter Greene, last year’s Major League “Gas King” toes the rubber on Opening Day at Great American Park for Cincinnati, he will become the first Black pitcher in their franchises history to ever do so.
“Greene Days” are music to Reds fans ears, listening to the sounds of 100 plus miles per hour fastballs popping as they enter the catcher’s mitt.
Entering his second season post Tommy John surgery, Greene is a prime candidate to follow in Triston McKenzie’s footsteps by being gifted a Rolex for finishing with an earned run average under three. MLBbro veteran Marcus Stroman fulfilled his promise of blessing Dr. Sticks with a signature watch when he accomplished the feat in 2022.
The Reds are one of the youngest teams in baseball, but with the N.L. Central division as open as it is, Greene will be the headlining show in their rotation.
Before a late Spring Training injury shelved him for the first 6 to 8 weeks of the 2023 MLB season, Triston McKenzie AKA ‘Dr Sticks’ put his name on the map as a player who could be a sneaky Cy Young award winner following last season where he helped lead Cleveland to the ALCS, finishing the year with a 2.96 ERA and just under 200 strikeouts.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) October 14, 2022
The Guardians lineup got a lot better with the addition of power-hitter Josh Bell and they will look to capture the American League Central pennant for a second straight year.
McKenzie vs. Greene
Record, ERA & K’s
Keys To All-Star selections
Greene broke records last year for throwing the most pitches over 100 mph in Major League history. With the All-Star Game being a display of the game’s greatest talent, the world should be treated to an inning of Greene on the mound in Seattle.
McKenzie needs to start 2023 how he ended his 2022 campaign if he wants to earn the nod as starter for the American League this year. He ended September with a 2.14 ERA, 37 strikeouts and just five walks in 33.2 innings pitched.
No pitch is harder to hit than a fastball, and Greene has one of the best in history.
The curveball is the best pitch Triston McKenzie has in his bag. Last season it ranked fourth as the highest putaway strikeout pitch among all pitchers.
MLBbro Legend Comparison
Hunter Greene reminds us of MLBbro legend JR Richards.
Dr. Sticks is long and lanky with a power punch like Dr. K, who also shared a back-breaking curveball to complement his electric stuff.
#HighFive Top Five Melanated Mound Marauders entering 2023
1. Devin Williams
Coming off a solid showing as the only Black pitcher on the Team USA Roster in the World Baseball Classic, Williams’ first year as the Brewers full-time closer should be another All-Star worthy campaign for the “Airbender.”
2. Taijuan Walker
Fly Tai Walker was a force for a surprise Mexico team in the WBC. Prior to that he earned a bag from the Phillies after two solid years for the Mets. He could be the team’s missing piece after falling short in last year’s World Series.
3. Triston McKenzie
“Dr. Stix” has proved his former top prospect ranking to be true. With his feet fully in the water, the sky’s the limit for where McKenzie’s skill can take him. His two-month rehab for arm pain will hopefully only defer his potential dominance for a short stretch because baseball needs pitchers with his electric stuff.
4. Marcus Stroman
Stroman is one of the most reliably consistent pitchers in baseball following him leading the league in starts with 33 in 2021, last year Stroman posted 25 starts and an ERA of 3.50.
5. Hunter Greene
Greene ended his last 17 games last season with at least six strikeouts in all of them. This season he will be fully let off the leash and his fastball will be seen as one of the most dominant pitches in the sport.
The 25-year-old righty is projected as the No. 2 starter in the Washington Nationals rotation. In his first full season as a starter after coming over from the Dodgers via trade in 2021, Gray showed flashed of dominance for a rebuilding Nationals franchise way out of contention.
Over 28 starts, Gray struck out 151 batters in 148 innings, showing his ability to make hitters miss. He also managed to start 28 games and win seven of them for a team that lost 107 games, tying them with the 1911 Boston Rustlers for the 17th-worst winning percentage in baseball’s modern era.
Washington Nationals Black Ace @JGrayy_ joined the High & Outside podcast with @_teammill and @OctobersOwnTae to discuss the importance of his slider through the first few months of his first Major League season. Check out the full interview here!https://t.co/3IW7SNyOtI pic.twitter.com/vlJ63LQzHw
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) July 14, 2022
Black Jack Flaherty has ace material and Cy Young potential, but he’s only started 32 games over the past three seasons. In 2021, he got off to an electric 8-1 start and had people talking Black Ace, 20-win possibilities, but Flaherty got injured and finished the season 9-2, with a ton of what ifs.
On The MLBBro Show Podcast week 4’s Black Ace ♠️ report @FANalyst1 is shouting out @Cardinals Jack Flaherty and thinks he might be a Cy Young Winner. Check out https://t.co/d5pfLsCroD for the full episode and comment below to let us know what you think. @Jack9Flaherty #STLFLY pic.twitter.com/L7E4CSlfMq
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 19, 2021
Most analysts believe that if the St. Louis Cardinals are to be true playoff contenders, Flaherty has to be the ace and not ‘Benjamin Button’ AKA Adam Wainwright, who is still in the game, with all due respect. Flaherty has already been an Opening Day starter in 2020 and 2021. He’s the last melananted mound marauder since Ken Hill in 1995 to open up for the storied franchise.