Healthy Again, D-backs' Conor Grammes Is Ready To Prove Himself
Some in the Diamondbacks organization believe that righthander Conor Grammes could quickly turn himself into an option for the big league bullpen if things break right.
Consider Grammes among those who share that sentiment.
“I know how high my ceiling is,” Grammes said. “I know when I’m performing to the best of my ability—I don’t want to sound cocky, but I don’t know if there is someone else whose stuff is better in the org, when I’m competing in the zone and I’m where I need to be mentally and physically.”
Few would argue. The 25-year-old Grammes owns a fastball that routinely sits in the 99-100 mph range. Moreover, he has a curveball and slider that are both legit swing-and-miss weapons.
The D-backs identified his upside and used a fifth-round pick on him in 2019, believing that by dedicating himself to pitching—he was a two-way player at Xavier—his extreme athleticism would allow him to blossom.
Trouble is, time on the mound has been hard to come by, first because of the pandemic, then because he missed most of 2021 and part of 2022 recovering from Tommy John surgery.
When he came back last year, his mechanics were out of whack, leading to 14 walks and eight hit batters in a combined 19.2 innings. He also struck out 37.
After the season, Grammes spent time at Salt River Fields ironing out his mechanics and feels good about where he is entering this year.
“I think he’s right at the top when you talk about the guys who can break out this year,” D-backs pitching coordinator Barry Enright said. “That’s the expectation by everyone, the expectation by him. He’s one of those guys, if you can get him to click, he is a guy who helps in the big leagues.”
Grammes said he has loved watching peers from his draft class as their stock has risen. He also has used it as motivation.
“For me to know my skill set and how it (measures) up with them,” Grammes said, “I anticipate having just as much success here pretty soon.”