Conine crushing it for the Beloit Snappers

Local Sports

BELOIT, WI (WTVO/WQRF)–Two former Beloit Snappers appeared in MLB’s All-Star game Tuesday night Matt Olson and Liam Hendricks. In a few years we could see current Beloit Snapper Griffin Conine in an MLB All-Star game.

Conine right now not only leads the Snappers in home runs, He leads all of minor league baseball at all levels in home runs with 21. He also leads all minor leaguers in RBIs with 55. Conine has been on a tear of late. He’s homered six times already in the month of July.

“It’s a testament to the work behind the scenes. The cage work,” said Conine. “All the swings every day.  The last two weeks has felt really good to get in the box and kind of know exactly how my swing’s working, and then have the confidence to know I’m ready for any pitch.”

Snappers manager Mike Jacobs has  had a front row seat for Conine’s power show. “You know he’s making the game look pretty easy right now. As we all know it’s not easy to play this game of baseball. He’s put in the work, and he’s really putting in good at bats.”

Conine hit for power in college at Duke. He hit 17 homers one year and 18 homers the next. Two years ago in Class A ball at Lansing he hit 22 home runs in 80 games.

So does Conine consider himself to be a power hitter, or just a hitter who now-and-then hits one out of the yard?

“That’s funny. Our hitting coach Matt Snyder, he always says you want to be a good hitter with power. You never want to be a power hitter first because that usually means you’re kind of a one outcome guy. You want to be someone in the game four at bats so you can make a difference.”

Conine doesn’t worry about launch angle on his swing to drive balls out of the park.

“For me a launch angle has always been a result rather than something I think about before the swing is completed. It kind of happens naturally for me.”

If the name Conine sounds familiar to you it’s because Griffin’s father Jeff Conine played 17 seasons in the major leagues with six teams. His best seasons were with the Marlins in 1995 and 1996 when he hit 25 home runs and 26 home runs. It’s good to have a father like that to turn to for advice now and then.

“He pretty hands off. He’s not like in my ear after every game. It’s kind of more like every once in a while if things are going rough or I feel something kind of odd I can always run it by him, ‘Hey what did you do in your career in this situation when guys were pitching you like this’, or ‘When you were going bad what was something you could kind of do to have a quick fix?’

Conine does need to work on cutting down his strikeouts. He has struck out 95 times in 212 at bats this season.  If he can show some improvement there a promotion to Class AA Pensacola might not be far off.  A promotion is something that crosses Conine’s mind.

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t (thinking about it). I know what the holdup is. They want to see consistency. They want to see me being able to do this week-to-week.”

Conine started this season as the Marlin’s 18th ranked prospect. He’s no doubt moving up from that with the way he’s been hitting the ball.

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