Hero: Austin Conway chills on the beach with his rescue dog, Stella. (@AConway1736)
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher
SSHP rank among all right-handed relief pitchers in the system: 10
Austin Conway actually pitched five college seasons — four with Indiana State and a final one with Louisville (he was able to do so because he was an injury redshirt for the Sycamores during his junior season in 2016). Conway saved 12 games for Indiana State in 2017, but struggled with his control for Louisville in 2018 with 17 walks in 24 innings. Partly because of those controls and also because he was a fifth-year senior who lacked leverage, Conway fell to the White Sox in the 31st round of the 2018 draft.
Conway entered 23 games for the AZL White Sox and Great Falls upon receiving his signing bonus, and combined to post a 3.00 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 36 innings. In those innings, he ceded 32 hits (.246 OBA) and 14 walks (8.9%) while striking out 32 (20.3%).
Most of Conway’s 2019 season was spent with Kannapolis, where he pitched exceptional ball. In 26 appearances for the Intimidators totaling 34 innings, he compiled a 1.59 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with 13 saves. During that span, he relinquished just 18 hits (.155 OBA) and 17 walks (12.5%) while fanning 48 (35.3%).
He struggled badly with Winston-Salem in three appearances, however, and that’s where he’ll be expected to begin the 2020 season. He’ll be more than 18 months older than the average Carolina League player, so he’ll likely move up quickly provided he throws strikes consistently.
According to 2080 Baseball, Conway’s fastball runs 93-95 mph while peaking at 96; his changeup runs 86-87, while his slider (which is his out pitch) typically runs 83-86.