Overton’s Long Road To The Show
2 years ago
For twenty-eight-year-old reliever, Connor Overton, pitching in the big leagues has probably felt like a far-fetched dream over the course of his eight-year professional career. It’s a journey that has made stops in ten different cities, across four major league organizations, and two independent organizations. He’s been a Muckdog, a Grasshopper, a Flying Squirrel, and today, after all that, he’ll be a Toronto Blue Jay.
Originally a 15th-round pick of the Miami Marlins out of Old Dominion, Overton’s road to the big leagues was always going to be contentious. Baseball, like most things in life, has its fair share of politics. A 15th-round pick is never going to get the same opportunity that a 1st-round pick with a hefty signing bonus is going to get. The leash is short, and it doesn’t matter if it’s poor performance or badly timed injuries that derail your ascent–once you get off the track, it’s a difficult thing to get back on.
When Overton signed with the Blue Jays in 2020, with little experience above AA, it’s hard to believe anyone imagined he’d perform the way he has with The Bisons. They predominantly scouted him using videos posted to social media. It sounds like the plot of a Disney movie. His first appearance was a two-inning effort against the Worcestor Red Sox. He faced them again in his second appearance only three days later in a spot start. All told he gave up only three hits in six innings. Overton has been a swiss army knife for The Bisons; he’s started seven games, he’s got more than three outs in 17 of his 21 appearances, he’s pitched in high leverage situations, he’s pitched with the lead, he’s pitched when the team is trailing, he’s even come on with a combined no-hitter on the line. There isn’t a situation in which Overton hasn’t been asked to come into a game, and still, he boasts some of the best numbers you’ll find at the AAA level. A 2.03 earned run average, a 1.075WHIP, a 1.6BB/9, 5.00 SO/W to highlight a few.
It’s easy to sit at home and route for guys like Vladdy and Bo who we’ve watched dominate at every single level since they arrived on the scene, and those guys deserve everything they have and everything they will achieve because they work tirelessly to do so. But I hope we can all take a moment to appreciate this one-in-a-million journey coming to fruition right in front of us. Whether or not this is the start of a long career, a high point in a still bumpy road, or the climax of a tumultuous rollercoaster ride–take pause and recognize how truly remarkable the path for Overton has been when you see him dawn a major league uniform for the first time. It’s one in the W column for the good guys, battling it out on buses and giving every ounce of everything they have.
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