The Giants are in agreement with right-handed pitching prospect Jack Conlon, the Orioles’ fourth-round pick of the 2017 MLB Draft. After being drafted, he failed the Orioles’ physical, and the team either neglected or declined to offer him a contract, which made him a free agent.
Or, in simpler terms: The Giants got another prospect from the 2017 Draft, and all they had to give up was more money than you’ll ever spend on the team in your life.
Exactly how much money hasn’t been confirmed yet, but Baseball America was estimating that it would take at least $1 million to sign him. Which sort of proves what a sham the draft really is, because Conlon was set to earn roughly a $409,000 bonus as the 128th-overall pick, and he might have doubled or tripled his payday because he’s hurt.
Though he doesn’t have to be hurt. The Orioles are somewhat notorious for being hyper-vigilant and strange when it comes to their physicals. They parted ways with franchise sorta-icon Nick Markakis because of a physical, and he’s played in at least 156 games in each of the last two seasons. They have a long history of rejecting or negotiating contracts down because of physicals.
And if Conlon is hurt, he’s a teenager. There’s a long time between now and when he makes the major leagues. Until then, free prospect! Well, not free. But it’s not like I’m paying for him. (It’s important to note that Ken Rosenthal’s report mentioned that he still needs to pass the Giants’ physical, too.)
Video of Conlon pitching:
An interview with him:
His fastball works consistently in the low 90s and touches 95 mph and Conlon has feel for a sharp slider that competes in the strike zone. He’s flashes some feel for a changeup, but the pitch is far from what it could be with more reps. Conlon is praised for his attitude and approach to the game, as well as his work ethic and desire to improve. He has the arm speed and the frame to eventually sit in the mid 90s and touch higher.
The scouting report also mentioned a “severe head whack.” If I were his coach, I would say, “Hey, Jack, cut it out with that severe head whack, buddy,” and he would say, “Sure thing, coach!” If you want to offer me a job in baseball, my DMs are open.
It’s unquestionably nice, however, to get news that the Giants used their capital to acquire an additional prospect for money. They didn’t have to. We’ll see what their reward is for this risk.