Jays From the Couch continues our Toronto Blue Jays 2017 Top Prospects List with #6, Pitcher, Conner Greene.
It’s that time of year again! We’re counting down our Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospects for 2017. We’ve selected our Top 15 and will be profiling each one. You are bound to find many of these lists in your travels, which makes for great conversation. The basis for rankings varies even more than the number of lists you’ll find. Some prefer to look at how close to “big league ready” a prospect is, while others look at “stuff” or “tools”.
To construct our list, we have scoured over scouting reports, numbers and a lot more to finalize our 2017 Top Prospects list. Feel free to weigh in on each selection in the comment section! It’s part of the fun!
Check out the rest of our 2017 Top Prospects, including Honorable Mentions HERE
Name: Conner Greene
Born: April 4, 1995
Drafted: 7th Round, 2013. Toronto Blue Jays
Weight: 185 lbs
Greene started his 2016 season back in the Florida State League with Dunedin (A+) where he made 15 starts while tallying a 4-4 record with a 2.90 ERA. Despite some concerns with his BB/9 rate of 4.4, and relatively low K/9 rate of 5.9, he made the jump to Double-A, New Hampshire at mid-season. This would be his second run at the AA level after making five starts for the Fisher Cats in 2015.
The former actor made some progress with his peripheral stats during his 12 starts with, but still produced a rather high BB/9 rate of 4.3, along with a slightly higher K/9 rate of 6.3. Perhaps his lack of dominance with a 4.19 ERA was a big reason for his drop in the prospect rankings; however, the fact he was an average of three years younger than his competition should not be overlooked.
It is still thought by many that Greene posses the best overall stuff of any pitcher in the Blue Jays organization. His ability to pitch at 93-97 mph, and can touch 98 backs up this assertion. He also has a two-seam fastball, and a mid-eighties slider that show above average, but tends to have a below average curveball. The latter two offerings have potential but often lack the consistency to rate them higher.
Multiple outlets have made mention of his possible lack of commitment to learning his craft, and potential lack of focus on baseball. Though these claims may change this upcoming season as the California native made the commitment to move to Florida this offseason. During a recent interview with Jays from the Couch, he gave us some inside information into his workouts with the Blue Jays’ new player development department. In addition, he’s been working with Aaron Sanchez, duplicating the same weight gain program the All-Star used to gain 25 lbs last offseason. With his slight 185 lbs frame the additional weight and strength could prove to be extremely beneficial to his overall body of work.
|2016||21||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A+-AA||10||9||3.51||27||146.1||131||72||57||10||71||99||1.380||8.1||0.6||4.4||6.1||1.39|
|All Levels (4 Seasons)||26||21||3.59||66||368.2||355||175||147||20||143||285||1.351||8.7||0.5||3.5||7.0||1.99|
MLB Pipeline: 2017 ranking, #10. Greene slid down several spots from his 2016 preseason ranking of #2.
Baseball America: 2017 ranking, #4. Previously ranked #2 after the 2015 season ended.
Outlook for 2017:
Greene seems pegged to start his age 22 season where he left off 2016 in Double-A, New Hampshire, of the Eastern League. His pure stuff will allow him to be competitive at this level; however, his ability to make strides in all aspects of this game, including his aforementioned off-field issues, will determine how fast he progresses in 2017.
With several aspects of this game needing improvement before he’s remotely ready to become a major league starting pitcher, it is highly doubtful fans will see him in Toronto during 2017. Though should Toronto’s bullpen need help this coming season, it is not unrealistic to think he could make an appearance as a reliever at some point. Think, Aaron Sanchez.
Outside of complete failure by the big club’s bullpen it is more likely we won’t see Greens in Toronto until 2018.
If you wish to listen to the JFtC interview with Conner Greene from the Prospect Showcase, you can find it here.
Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.