This offseason, we here at Fish Stripes are counting down the top 100 all-time Marlins by using the WAR statistic. We’ve already taken a look at pitchers Matt Turner and Jarred Cosart, and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. Today’s addition is a current member of Miami’s rotation moving forward.
Adam Conley is a 6’3”, 200 lb. left-handed pitcher from Redmond, Washington. Born on May 24th, 1990, he was initially drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 32nd round of the 2008 amateur draft, with the 966th overall pick. After attending Washington State, the Marlins ended up choosing him in the second round of the 2011 MLB amateur draft. He joined the Gulf Coast Marlins in the rookie GCL, and pitched in a grand total of two games, allowing one hit and striking out two over two innings pitched.
2012 would be Conley’s first full season as a pro, and he started out with the South Atlantic League Marlins’ affiliate, the Greensboro Grasshoppers. In 14 starts, he went 7-3 with a 2.78 ERA and a 1.103 WHIP, striking out 84 in 74.1 innings. He was slightly less efficient after his callup to the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League, going 4-2 with a 4.44 ERA over 12 starts, striking out 51 in 52.2 innings with a 1.481 WHIP.
The 2013 campaign would see Conley firmly entrenched in the Jacksonville Suns rotation in the double-A Southern League. He led the team in wins, innings pitched, and strikeouts, going 11-7 over 25 starts, and striking out 129 in 138.2 innings. The Suns finished with a 73-63 overall record.
In 2014, Conley spent an extended duration of the season on the disabled list due to a pair of elbow injuries to his pitching arm, but he did manage to join the New Orleans Zephyrs for 12 rotation starts, and struck out 48 in 60.0 innings. He went 3-5 with a 6.00 ERA and a 1.517 WHIP. He remained with the Zephyrs for most of the 2015 campaign, and dropped his ERA to 2.52 and his WHIP to 1.168, posting a 9-3 record and striking out 81 in 107 innings covering 18 starts.
On June 10th, Conley got his first taste of major league action, pitching a perfect inning of relief of a 7-2 Marlins loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. His first start, a month later on July 11th, he earned the win and allowed two earned runs on five hits and two walks over five innings of a 14-3 victory against the Cincinnati Reds. He finally joined the Marlins for keeps as August started, and got into three games in relief before joining the rotation on August 12th. On September 16th, he pitched seven shutout three-hit no-walk innings, striking out six and earning a 6-0 win against the New York Mets (see below).
2016 would open with Conley holding down the number three slot in the Marlins’ rotation. Over 25 starts, he posted an 8-6 record with a 3.85 ERA and a 1.403 WHIP, with 124 whiffs over 133.1 innings pitched. On seven occasions, he went 5+ innings and allowed zero runs. On April 13th, he pitched six shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out nine to earn a no-decision to the New York Mets, 2-1. On April 29th, he earned the victory by throwing 7.2 no-hit innings, striking out seven and walking four as the Marlins defeated the Milwaukee Brewers, 6-3 (see below).
On June 22nd, Conley went eight innings, allowing four hits and a walk to do his part in blanking the Atlanta Braves, 4-0. Conley is under full team control for the next five seasons, although he will be arbitration eligible in 2019.
Tomorrow, we’ll shift our focus to a pitcher who earned a 2.1 WAR for the 2003 Marlins by pitching just 38.1 regular season innings to wind up at #96 on our list.