The Toronto Blue Jays #3 prospect in 2016, as selected by the Jays From the Couch staff, is Santa Monica, California native, and Santa Monica HS alumni, Conner Greene.
We’ve been counting down the Toronto Blue Jays 2016 Top Prospects List here at Jays From the Couch. You can catch up on all of the previous profiles HERE.
Name: Conner Greene
Born: April 4, 1995 (20)
Draft: 7th Rd – 205th overall (2013)
Weight: 165 lb.
Ranked #2 – Behind Anthony Alford,
Greene started 2015 with the Midwest League affiliate of the Blue Jays organization, Lansing Lugnuts (A) before moving to the Dunedin Blue Jays (A+) of the Gulf Coast League in July. The California native was not done his quick ascent however, with his biggest move coming in August to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA) of the Eastern League. This season also brought with it a huge leap up the prospect rankings within the Blue Jays organization, and other major baseball publications. Like several other Blue Jays 2015 top prospects, Greene, saw himself shoot up the franchise rankings due to the unloading of many previous prospects in the July trades of the MLB club. The lanky right-hander however, did a lot to earn his current place with very strong showings at all levels during the 2015 season.
|All Levels (3 Seasons)||3.64||50||222.1||224||103||90||10||14||1.331||9.1||2.9||7.5||2.58|
The California native who is also an actor and model in his spare time, worked hard in his off-seasons since turning pro, and added an extra 20-pounds to his lean frame. This added weight allowed Greene to add some extra zip to his fastball. Where he was once a high 80’s, low 90’s guy, he now sits 92-94 mph, with the ability to top out at 96 mph. Many prospect reports consider his change-up his second best offering, with his curveball needing refinement.
Greene is an excellent athlete, with simple repeatable mechanics, which allow him to consistently throw strikes, and work well within the zone. This is evident with his excellent BB/9 ratios throughout the 2015 season. He did see a spike in this facet of his game while in AA, although this can be attributed to seeing more disciplined hitters at this level. A key to his 2016 success will be making the required adjustments to this aspect of his game, as well as the needed work on his breaking pitch. Should these adjustments be made, some publications can envision, Greene, making his way to the MLB level sometime in 2017.
Below is some video of Conner Greene while in Lansing this past season, courtesy of Johnny Greene via YouTube.
Outlook for 2016:
With the new Blue Jays management calling the shots, we can expect that Greene won’t be rushed through the system. A logical starting point for him would be New Hampshire. Given that he climbed 3 levels last season and only threw in 5 games at his final stop, this would make the most sense. But, don’t be surprised to see him make the jump to AAA if he can maintain control of the strike zone.
*Featured Image Credit: Buck Davidson Under CC BY-NC 2.0