With the 52nd overall selection in the 2018 MLB Draft, the Blue Jays have made Duke right-fielder Griffin Conine their second round pick
Toronto adds to its collection of drafting and signing the sons of former major league players. Former Florida Marlins first basemen, Jeff Conine, is the father of this soon to be new Blue Jay prospect. But unlike first rounder, Jordan Groshans, Conine was similarly ranked in various draft boards and was not considered a reach. The Duke outfielder was the 43rd ranked player on the FanGraphs board and 50th on MLB Pipeline, Baseball America and Keith Law’s board.
MLB Pipeline Scouting Grades:
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50
Conine is projected by all experts to have plus power. Coming into 2018 after a strong performance in the Cape Cod League, many thought coming that he had a good chance to be selected in the first round. However, after a rough start to his junior season at Duke his stock plummeted. A late surge allowed him to make it back on the radar of many experts. MLB Pipeline says “he’s still one of the better power hitters available in the 2018 Draft, capable of driving the ball out to all fields thanks to his bat speed and the loft he generates with his left-handed swing.” The consensus is when he hits the ball, he hits it hard.
On the other hand, there is concern with his swing as Keith Law wrote “…his season strikeout rate of 24.9 percent is still alarming for a corner outfielder whose bat is his carrying tool.” As FanGraphs noted he has high exit velocities but “is out of sorts this spring, selling out for power and not making much contact.” Baseball America commented on his struggles “to make contact with offspeed offerings of varying quality, frequently expanding his zone and swinging over the top of pitches below the strike zone.” So clearly there are tools there, but some things that the slugger will need to work on to reach the big leagues.
Defensively, Conine profiles as a good right field candidate with good arm strength. He does not have a lot of speed, but as MLB Pipeline says “even with modest quickness, he’s a sound defender on the outfield corners.” With his power, that’s a solid profile
Via MLB Pipeline:
Via Baseball America:
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