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studying myself and the usage of my weapons out
Aaron Sanchez sees some of his younger self in Conner Greene, which is why he was more than willing to share when the Toronto Blue Jays prospect sought some help with his off season workouts last winter. The two right handers share similar body types, repertoires and upside, making their fit together a natural one, a relationship developing to include regular FaceTime calls between a 25 year old mentor and a 22 year old apprentice.

“I just keep telling him he’s the exact same way I was in double A, wanting to be in different spots than where I was, being frustrated that you’re not moving quickly – there’s a ton of things he’s going through or is about to go through that I went through,” says Sanchez. “When you can hear from somebody that everything is going to be OK, and you trust that person, then you’re at ease with the situation you’re in. That’s where I feel like I am with him. He trusts what I say because I’ve been through it.”

Sanchez’s support has been especially instrumental this year as Greene grinds through what he describes as his “first road bump” in pro baseball, posting a 4.96 ERA over 94.1 innings through his first 18 starts with the double A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Though he’s surrendered only three home runs, he’s walked 58 against 67 strikeouts, lasting only 2.2 innings and one inning in his two most recent outings.

“I feel mentally tested more than anything,” Greene says, “feeling I’m ready to take the next step and not necessarily proving it statistically. A lot of the times I have flashes of it, and I want to show that the consistency could be there. And it will be there. I’m confident in that.”

The raw ability for far more, certainly, is there, which is why there’s a tinge of frustration within his determination.
A seventh round pick in 2013, Greene features a fastball that touches triple digits, but his challenges remain both in harnessing it and using his other offerings to fully leverage the heat.

At times he can drop in a beauty curve or pull a string with a changeup, but he doesn’t do either steadily enough to get hitters off the gas.

“Sometimes, because I throw so hard, I think people, my peers, everybody, we have this thought process that the fastball can just overpower all the other pitches and put the curveball and the changeup in the shadows,” says Greene. “It’s just as important to throw a mixture of pitches because no matter how hard you throw, if they know it’s coming they’re going to hit it. So mixing it up Darwin Barney Jersey, getting them in between.”

That can be easier said than done, but Greene is making a point of working on some subtleties of the game, learning to better understand how to read hitters’ swings and apply the information he picks up on hitters to his pitch selection.

“I’m going out there to truly pitch,” he says. “I’m studying myself and the usage of my weapons out there.”

For that reason Greene says his focal point for the rest of the season is to maintain an attack mindset on the mound “without getting fastball happy,” and remember this simple motto, especially when the game begins to speed up on him “Mix it up.”

Both are points Sanchez tries to drive home during their FaceTime conversations.

“He’s a good kid, he’s got tremendous ability,” says Sanchez. “When you do see him pitch, that’s when he’s got big league stuff. And when you see him throw, that’s why he’s in double A.”

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