Miami Marlins fans do not have much to look forward to during the 2013 season, but one thing Marlins can certainly look forward to is the teams future. With a strong farm system, the Marlins future seems to be a brighter than the current gloom that surrounds the team.
As we continue down our prospect countdown, we have arrived at #11. Here is a brief recap of the prospects that we have looked at so far:
- #20- Mason Hope, RHP
- #19- Zack Cox, 3B
- #18- Tom Koehler, RHP
- #17- Kolby Copeland, OF
- #16- Austin Barnes, INF-C
- #15- Alfredo Silverio, OF
- #14- Avery Romero, INF
- #13- Derek Dietrich, INF
- #12- Mason Hope, SP
The prospects listed above are names that are either further away from making an impact with the Marlins or are prospects that will not make a huge impact on the Marlins. At this point, names like Silverio and Koehler seem like nothing more than organizational depth. Cox is headed down the same path, but still has a shot at redeeming himself.
Prospects #11-1 are either already on the Marlins roster or are close enough that they should make an impact within the next 2 or three seasons.
Next up, we will look at our #11 prospect:
11. Adam Conley, SP
Drafted: 2011 2nd round pick
Birthdate: 5/24/1990 (22) Height: 6’3″ Weight: 185 lbs.
Conley was originally drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 32nd round in the 2008 draft. He also turned down overtures from other Pac-10 colleges to attend Washington State University. It was a wise choice for Conley, as his career really took off from there.
Three years later, the Marlins selected Conley in the second round. Conley was the highest drafted player to come from Washington State since 1991, when Aaron Sele and Scott Hatteberg were drafted in the first round. I bring this up because I have become a huge Hatteberg fan since reading Moneyball.
Conley was used mainly as a relief pitcher at WSU, setting a school record for appearances (25) by a freshman. In his Junior year, his coaches decided to use him as a starter, as he had added 10 MPH on his fastball, which had sat at 86 MPH before he entered college.
Conley’s low-to-mid 90’s fastball can overpower hitters at times and he has good movement on the pitch, which induces ground-balls at an above-average rate. While he has a decent fastball to become a dependable starter, he still needs to work on his secondary pitches in order to reach his full potential.
Conley’s changeup has shown some good potential so far in his minor league career, but he needs to also develop a consistent breaking ball to keep hitters honest. With the changeup expected to improve as he works on it, the breaking ball will be the key to Conley’s future MLB career.
Conley went 7-3 with a 2.78 ERA and over a strikeout per inning in 14 starts in the South Atlantic League in 2012 and was promoted to Class A Advanced Jupiter in late June. Overall during the 2012 campaign, Conley made 26 appearances (all starts), pitching 127 innings with a decent 3.47 ERA and a sparkling 2.57 FIP.
Conley has a ceiling of a dependable 3/4 starter for the Marlins, but has a fairly decent floor as a reliable left handed relief pitcher. If he were to become a bullpen arm, he does have the stuff to make sure he is not just a left handed specialist.
This is what of my friend and dependable prospect guru, Nathaniel Stoltz had to say about Conley:
@ehsank24 I like him a fair bit. Not hard to see him as a 3. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him have better career than Nicolino and Heaney.
— Nathaniel Stoltz (@stoltz_baseball) March 13, 2013
Conley should begin the season in Double-A, on the same pitching staff as Jose Fernandez and Andrew Heaney, but it is also likely the team takes a cautious approach and lets him work on his game in High-A for a month or two.
Late 2014 or early 2015 is the best bet for when Conley should reach the majors.
What do you guys think about Adam Conley? What kind of impact do you guys think he can make on the Marlins future rotation?