Thursday, April 26, 2012

O'Conner May Not Catch This Season

After taking OF Josh Sale with pick #17, the Rays drafted catcher Justin O'Conner with their second pick in the first round in 2010, #31 overall. The O'Conner pick was compensation for not signing LeVon Washington in the 2009 draft.

Both Sale and O'Conner have struggled offensively since joining the organization, but O'Conner at least played an important defensive position, giving him value as a prospect even if he never reached his projected offensive ceiling.

Entering 2012 O'Conner only has a .183 career batting average over 2 seasons with the GCL Rays and the Princeton Rays, but he did show some pop last year in Princeton with 9 home runs in 178 at-bats. Unfortunately he also had the third-worst strikeout rate in the minors last year.

O'Conner has also battled a series of injuries, including arm and hip problems, but was reportedly healthy heading into 2012, ranking 28th in our Top 30 Rays Prospects. Now Thomas St. Myer reports that O'Conner may not be able to catch at all this season due to another hip injury suffered in spring training:
He felt a sharp pain in his left hip, eerily similar to what he felt in his right hip nearly two years ago.

"The same doctor who performed my hip surgery took a look, and he said, it was kind of the earlier stages of what was wrong with my right one, so he told me to just start taking it easy, so that's what I've been doing," O'Conner said.
"I'm probably not going to catch for the rest of the year," O'Conner said. "I just don't know."

Here are his career hitting stats:
Year   Age      Team  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
2010    18  GCL Rays 161 18 34 13  0  3  29  1  0 18  46 .211 .301 .348 .649
2011    19 Princeton 178 18 28  8  0  9  29  4  1 17  78 .157 .234 .354 .587
2 Seasons            339 36 62 21  0 12  58  5  1 35 124 .183 .266 .351 .617


  1. He had a mid 90s fastball in H.S. Put him on the mound!! He can't hit.

  2. Think he had Tommy John too