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Cincinnati Reds sign first-round pick Hunter Greene

It went down to the wire, but phenom right-hander and Reds agree on largest bonus in the 2017 class

Baseball: Dream Series-Workouts Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It went right down to the deadline, but the Cincinnati Reds and first-round pick Hunter Greene have reached agreement on a minor league contract. Per MLB.com’s Jim Callis:

This is a bit over slot value but not enough to trigger any bonus pool penalties for the Reds.

Greene is expected to report initially to the Arizona Rookie League Reds. He threw just 28 innings in high school this spring (posting a 0.96 ERA and a 43/4 K/BB) so he’ll need some time to work his arm back into game condition. He could be promoted to the Billings Mustangs, Cincinnati’s affiliate in the rookie level Pioneer League, sometime in August assuming his AZL tune-up goes well.

Given Greene’s enormous talent he could advance more rapidly than the typical high schooler, although such a rise shouldn’t be expected to begin until next year.

As with all young pitchers, injuries are the main risk for Greene going forward. In his case, the fact that he is also a first-round prospect as a power-hitting shortstop gives the Reds a fall-back position should health issues or other unexpected development problems occur.