Stevenson Ranch native Hunter Greene is home for the holidays.
But this year’s second overall pick of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Cincinnati Reds isn’t taking much time off.
He’ll be holding the Hunter Greene Baseball Fest in Inglewood on Jan. 7, which is already sold out.
The two-way phenom out of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame has been living in a high-rise condo in Las Vegas since ending play in the Arizona Instructional League.
“Instructional was cool because the Reds let me cut loose a bit,” Greene said last week in a Twitter message. “Not as many restrictions, so I was able to put it all together.”
The 18-year-old right-hander said he was facing mostly Double-A and Triple-A players while on the mound.
“I beat the Dodgers pretty good, too, and they had guys facing me who were waiting to get called up in case someone got injured during the playoffs,” Greene said. “That was closer to when they thought they would face (New York Yankees left-hander) Aroldis Chapman.”
Greene spent his first professional stint with the Billings Mustangs, the Reds’ Rookie League affiliate. He made three starts, striking out six in 4 ⅓ innings while also allowing seven runs (six earned).
A standout at shortstop in high school as well, Greene also went 7-for-30 with two double, a triple and three RBIs.
Greene has company in Las Vegas in former Reds great and Las Vegas native Pete Rose, who’s his neighbor. He has two trainers out in Las Vegas, and works out two-to-three hours a day at UNLV, mixing in some time in the pool as well.
When not working out, Greene has also been starting to write several children’s books with the help of his agency, Creative Artists Agency. He’s also been enjoying the luxuries that came with his $7.23 million signing bonus. That included the purchase of a Mercedes-Benz E400 convertible, which he bought from Mercedes-Benz of Valencia.
“They really hooked me up,” Greene said. “ … It’s a lot of fun to drive.”
After celebrating Christmas in Stevenson Ranch, he’ll be heading back to Las Vegas to continue training until March. Greene said he’ll be advancing to Class-A Dayton this season, though isn’t expected to report until the weather warms up in Southwest Ohio. He’ll work at the Reds’ complex in Goodyear, Ariz., until then.
Greene helped usher in a new wave of players considered as two-way contributors.
The No. 4 pick in last year’s draft, Brendan McKay, worked as a pitcher and first baseman at Louisville. He spent time at both spots in his first season in the Tampa Bay Rays’ minor league system.
Greene’s also represented by the same agency as Shohei Ohtani, who signed with the Los Angeles Angels earlier this month and is slated to contribute on the mound and at the plate as well