April 1, 2015
With the season opener around the corner, players are putting the finishing touches on their routines as they prepare for the season to begin. While some players are looking to pick up where they left off the previous season, others are looking to get a fresh start and improve their game in certain areas.
One player in the Blue Jays system looking to improve in 2015 is catcher Seth Conner. After two seasons that had the same result of beginning the year in Lansing and finishing in Vancouver, Conner will be looking to stay on a full season affiliate the entire season this year.
And find success.
This result will happen if the Missouri native can find some consistency at the plate. Conner was a tremendous hitter in rookie ball, but the success he showed in Bluefield back in 2012 has yet to transfer to low-A. The 23-year-old batted .221 with three doubles and six RBIs last season in Vancouver. Even though those numbers don’t jump off the page, the utility player managed a respectable .312 OBP playing for the Canadians.
Known more for his defensive prowess, Conner committed just one error in 73 chances behind the plate in Vancouver, maintaining an excellent .986 fielding percentage at the toughest defensive position in the game. The young prospect also appeared in 12 Northwest League contests at first base. Conner’s play at first was flawless, as he maintained a 1.000 fielding percentage while taking part in six double plays and assisting on two.
“I developed a lot behind the plate. I feel comfortable back there. Now it’s developing the bat again,” stated Conner. “I feel if I can get both sides going. I’ll be a good player moving forward.”
Conner has enjoyed every aspect of his two stints in Vancouver. While the city is huge and has a lot to do from an entertainment standpoint, the young prospect’s favorite part of Vancouver is the continued fan support the C’s receive at Nat Bailey Stadium every night.
“Vancouver is an awesome city,” said Conner. “You’re in Canada, so there’s a bunch of Blue Jays fans. There isn’t a lot of baseball around there. Seattle isn’t too far. But Vancouver is great because it’s a big city and the fan support is outstanding. Home country affiliate. It’s really cool.”
Understanding that there are only so many chances to prove yourself in the minor leagues, Conner looks to put the past two seasons behind him in 2015, as he is looking to redevelop his game at the plate with hopes of finding his stroke from Bluefield when he carried an excellent .296/.421/.423 slash line.
“Going from an everyday player to a backup messed with my rhythem a bit at the plate,” said Conner. “I don’t like to make excuses, but it’s tough to make adjustments to pitching when you’re not playing every day. Baseball is a game of numbers and I didn’t make the most of my opportunities the last two years.”
Returning home to Missouri this off-season, Conner enjoyed spending time with his family. He also focused on doing some workouts to stay in shape and teaching lessons to younger players are just a few of Conner’s plans.
“My off-season was really good,” explained Conner. “I spend a lot of time with my wife Laura and I do my workouts. I also teach lessons. The kids I work with are between third grade and seniors in high school. Basically they’re anywhere from eight to 18-years old. Other than that I spend time with my family. I really enjoy seeing everybody!”
Watch for Seth Conner as he continues to be an excellent defensive option with hopes of improving offensively with one of the Blue Jays full season affiliates in 2015.