2023 MLB Draft Canadian Spotlight: Connor O’Halloran
Photo credit:Michigan Photography
By Nick Prasad4 months ago
After Myles Naylor follows a list of high-performing Canadian arms that are sparking noise in the 2023 MLB Draft north of the border. The Blue Jays have an in-house look at some of these prospects and have been exposed to them in one way or another.
Drafting for the bump is very important and scouting arms to fill out your selections is an art. Since 2015, the Blue Jays have plugged six first-round pitchers to kick off their selections. Their top two prospects in the top 30 rankings are left-handed pitchers: Ricky Tiedemann and Brandon Barriera. The Canadian draft market this year offers three home-grown southpaws that are legit and eligible to hear their names call in respectable draft positions; these are names Toronto should offer consideration too.
I’ve had a good look at Connor O’Halloran throughout his days with the Canadian Junior National Team and his time in the Canadian Pacific Baseball League. His high school projection while playing travel ball has mirrored in substantial growth and development to being a highly dependable arm for Michigan.
Beginning his career at the University of Michigan, seeing the hill was scarce as a freshman. He only saw six games with little to no play while polishing his craft for the future. He followed up his freshman year with the Bismarck Larks in the Northwoods League, where he posed a 2.72 ERA striking out 45 batters in 43 innings.
He later launched as an important sophomore arm, shoving out the gate in 92.2 innings of work. With an uncontrollable record of 5-4 and a 5.44 ERA, O’Halloran showcased his weapon belt, working his conference and recording 104 strikeouts against only 40 walks in 2022. From here, it was all music and flowers as he became a junior.
Year 2023 at present, O’Halloran went 8-6 with a 4.11 ERA (lower than 2022) throwing more innings at 103 striking out an impressive 110, and only walking 26 with a 1.126 WHIP. His progression emerged to be Michigan’s top-dog lefty, detailed with a great list of notable accomplishments, with the biggest accolade being Big Ten Pitcher of the Year. Even more relevant, he now holds the spot of 164 on MLB’s top 200 draft prospect list. What is it that we’ll see from the mighty lefty?
O’Halloran stands 6’2” at 190lbs with a slim-athletic build and fits the ideal left-handed pitcher profile. His wind-up is a bit funky but it is calm, easy, and consistent. He has a high leg kick with a three-quarter low slot delivery and a good low finish. He offers three pitch options: 4-seam fastball, slider, and changeup. The fastball tops 93 and sits 91-92 mph consistently. His slider is his out pitch, sitting 82-83mph with good sweeping action and bite. The changeup also sits low 80s, working low in the zone with sink. The lefty can hit his spots with above-average command but has a lot of refining to do. He has projection, and an MLB program can work with his profile to build and improve his overall repertoire to be a polished professional pitcher.
O’Halloran has spent a lot of time showcasing, especially in Canada. The Blue Jays have had their fair share of looks and understand what he offers. This would be a good mid-selection arm to add to the farm system in hopes of developing and promoting strong pitching depth.
Recent articles from Nick Prasad