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Griffin Conine Locks In Thanks To Swing Changes



Few major league organizations have as many quality outfield prospects as the Marlins.

Ten of the organization’s Top 30 Prospects are outfielders, more than its National League East rivals, the Braves, Mets, Nationals and Phillies.

JJ Bleday, Jesus Sanchez and Monte Harrison could soon form the Marlins’ starting outfield.

Backing them up are Kameron Misner, Connor Scott, Peyton Burdick, Jerar Encarnacion, Griffin Conine and the Mesa brothers, Victor Jr. and Victor Victor.

“I didn’t know the actual number, but I believe it because of what I saw in instructional league,” said the 23-year-old Conine, whose father Jeff Conine was known as Mr. Marlin. “We’re stacked in the outfield.

“If you play the percentages, plenty of those 10 will pan out. I’m glad the organization didn’t sign a bunch of veterans. I’m happy (new general manager) Kim Ng decided to let this talent grow.”

Conine, a 6-foot-1, 213-pound lefthanded hitter, is a Fort Lauderdale native who attended Duke.

The 2018 second-rounder was acquired by the Marlins last August from the Blue Jays for shortstop Jonathan Villar.

Conine has plus raw power. He led the Low-A Midwest League with 22 home runs in 2019, while playing just 80 games. But a 36% strikeout rate led Conine to rebuild his swing.

“Every swing I’ve taken and every drill I’ve done has been with the mindset of how my swing can be shorter, quicker and more explosive,” Conine said. “There were days when I went 4-for-5, and there were times I could go 0-for-20 with 16 strikeouts.

“I couldn’t lock in. I didn’t watch video as much as I should have. I didn’t know what to fix, essentially. I was lost.”

Conine spent much of his offseason working in a backyard batting cage with his father. They cranked the pitching machine up to 100 mph, and once Conine got to instructional league, he was locked in on fastballs.

Breaking balls will require more work. But as for that strikeout rate, Conine said: “That cannot happen again.”

FISH BITES

— No. 2 Marlins pitching prospect Max Meyer said he worked on his changeup the most over the past year. “Woo,” Meyer said for emphasis, “I can throw my changeup 3-0 now. It feels good out of my hand.”

Jonathan Villar (Mike Stobe/Gettty) 1228229161

Blue Jays Keep Buying, Acquire Jonathan Villar From Marlins

After trading for a pair of starting pitchers, the Blue Jays acquired infielder Jonathan Villar from the Marlins in the final hour before the deadline Monday.

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