In George We Trust
A(nother) blog about the most storied franchise in sports
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Prospect Profile: Jim Conroy
Name: James T. Conroy
Position: RHP
Vitals: 6'3", 190 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Born: November 4, 1982
Hometown: Rock Island, Illinois
Drafted: 19th round (589th overall) in 2005 (Yankees 19th selection)

Background: A true baseball lifer, Conroy began his foray into baseball at age 7, drawing posters of himself as a major leaguer in first grade. Conroy headed to the University of Illinois, where he initially served as a reliever, gradually working his way into the rotation. After going 10-7, 4.21 ERA, 1.35 WHIP in his first 3 years as a Fighting Illini, the Oakland A's selected him in the 25th round (757th overall) in the 2004 draft. Conroy opted to return to Illinois for his senior season, becoming the staff ace with an 8-3 record, 3.10 ERA, 1.14 WHIP. Conroy was most effective in conference play, going 5-2, 3.52 ERA in 53.2 IP against Big Ten teams as a senior. Conroy earned second team all Big-Ten honors for his efforts, while improving his draft stock upwards 6 rounds with the performance.

Strengths: Conroy's changeup is his lone plus pitch, but it's exceptional. Coming in around 75-77 mph, Conroy throws it with arm speed identical to that of his fastball. It's a strikeout pitch that has similar tumble to a breaking ball, and he often puts hitters away by throwing it out of the zone. Conroy's fastball is good, sitting at 88-92 mph but featuring little movement. His fastball has potential, but for now it's effectiveness is a result of his change. Conroy has superb control, walking 1.95 batters per 9 innings total since the start of the 2004 college season. His frame is solid, but he could stand to add some more muscle as he missed some time as a junior due to injuries.

Weaknesses: Conroy can best be described as a 'tweener. He's not a power pitcher, but he's also not a finesse pitcher. A groundball pitcher, Conroy will continue to give up his fair share of hits. His breaking ball is still very slurvy, sometimes resembling a curve, other times a slider. Growing up in a cold weather state and attending a university with a second tier baseball program left Conroy somewhat raw, not what you'd expect from a 4 year college player.

Stats: Conroy dominated in his pro debut at Short Season Staten Island, going 5-1, 2.04 ERA, 1.09 WHIP in 18 games (9 starts). Between his work at college and as a pro, Conroy logged 159.1 innings in 2005, 102.1 innings more than his previous career high. Despite the heavy workload, Conroy pitched well throughout the year and maintained his velocity.

2002U. of Illinois2-03.681.188-122.01810-9117-8
2003U. of Illinois2-35.701.539-630.03120-19318-15
2004U. of Illinois6-43.631.3212-1057.06524-23349-10
2005U. of Illinois8-33.101.1414-1493.08936-32563-17

2005Staten Island5-12.041.0918-966.15210-9267-20

Outlook: His lack of experience (his 202 IP in 4 yrs at UoI is 65 IP less than Mark Prior threw at USC in 2 years) combined with the aforementioned fact that he grew up in a cold weather stated and played with a minor baseball program at UoI would lead one to be skeptical regarding Conroy's future. On the contrary, many baseball people feel Conroy has a solid major league career ahead of him, and although he won't continue to be as dominant as he was at Staten Island, but he should be an effective number 3 or 4 starter. He should move quickly, with a chance of opening 2006 at High-A Tampa, however Low-A Charleston is his likely destination.

I'm going to scrap the Comparison section that usually accompanies the Prospect Profiles, replacing it with stats, etc. It was just too difficult to come up with reasonable comparisons as you may have noticed, and often times they weren't worth the time or effort.
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