By Contributing Writer: Chuck Boemmel Jr.
In the 4th round (128th pick overall) of the 2017 Major League Draft the Baltimore Orioles selected a right-handed pitcher out of Clements High School in Sugar Land Texas by the name of Jack Conlon.
Photo: Baby Birdland
The 6’5”, 225 lb. Conlon was the 5th player chosen by the Orioles and was not only the 4th pitcher the team selected but the 3rd high school player chosen as well.
Conlon has what some scouts have called a Major League body type. He has a big body frame with a strong athletic build. His body type is what most scouts are looking for in a major League pitcher. Conlon uses his size and arm strength to keep his fastball in the low 90 mph range with a top speed of 95 mph. He works down in the zone, an attribute conducive to getting ground balls, and that ability will play well at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Conlon also throws a sharp slider that he keeps in the strike zone and sits in the 81-84 mph range. He counters that with a changeup that has shown some fading action. His slider is at times inconsistent and his changeup needs some work; time, growth and maturity will help him work out those issues with these two pitches.
The raw skills Conlon possesses make his ceiling high. It is projected that his arm strength and body frame will allow him to eventually reach the mid 90’s with his fastball with a touch higher top out speed. He will need to show more of an ability to throw that fastball on not so straight plane; giving hitters a different look with your pitches is a key to success at the professional level.
An excellent student (3.8 GPA, 1570 SAT score), Conlon has been praised for his attitude and intelligent approach to the game of baseball. His work ethic and desire to improve have been cited as excellent and are exactly what you want in a high draft pick.
Conlon has a commitment to Texas A&M University so he does face a major decision: at least three years of college or a professional baseball career. Should he sign with the Orioles he will join fellow Aggie recruit and Orioles 2nd round pick Adam Hall on the road to BirdLand.
Of note, Clements High School also produced the Houston Astros 2001 23rd round pick, Matt Albers.
I hope to see Conlon sign with the Orioles and begin his professional career in the Gulf Coast League (Class-Rookie).
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