Conde Carving A Role For Himself

CHARLESTON, SC - When the 2015 season began there was a lot of questions about how Vince Conde was going to fit in among the plethora of lower level shortstops already in Yankee farm system. He's proven in short order, however, during his first full professional season this year that he has the chops to carve a utility role out for himself.

Vince Conde has had a solid season in the minors this year, jumping from team to team and now he’s looking for a strong finish to end his minor breakout season. The Florida native traveled from low-A to Double-A and then to high-A earlier in the season before coming back to low-A.

Offensively he’s looked good in Charleston, hitting .275 and leading the team in doubles [26] [he is tied with Austin Aune but Aune has played in 25 more games], and defensively he’s had his work cut out for him as he has been working his way into other positions.

He played shortstop in college and knew he was good there, but his coaches wanted to work him in at other positions in the infield this season.

“I think his defense at shortstop is showing a little more range," Charleston manager Luis Dorante said. "He’s solid at second base [too].

"I think those are the two primary positions he’s going to be playing at the higher level and probably third base as well. Defensively, he needs to see more repetition at each position and really carve out that utility role for himself.”

That utility role is proving very well for Conde as he’s able to play many defensive positions and yet still keep is offensive game on track. He’s hit seven home runs this year [six in Charleston] and he's fourth on the team in RBIs [31], thanks in large part to his .333 average with runners in scoring position.

Riverdogs hitting coach Greg Colbrunn thinks that his value as a player is outstanding.

“I think he’s done well for himself," Colbrunn said. "He’s played some third base, second base, and some shortstop as well. He’s got a good set of hands defensively and offensively he’s put together a good year for us."

When the season started, Conde was excited for the opportunity to play professionally and as the season progressed he has worked harder and harder to succeed at each level. He struggled a little bit at first with sparse playing time and moving from team to team, but he’s proven that he’s meant to be on that playing field once given a defined role.

“It was an adjustment, just coming out of college where I had played all the time," Conde admitted. "Last year when I first signed, I played everyday, so it was just an adjustment and a little frustrating at first but you have to stick with it and keep working every day in preparation inc ase you have to go in or something happens.

“You never know if you get sent to another team like I did. You just have to be prepared for anything.”

He has been prepared for anything and he now realizes that his value to his team and to his organization is now in his growing defensive versatility. The former everyday starting college shortstop has carved a nice utility role for himself, a role he plans on running with as this season comes towards a close soon, and he’s looking forward to keeping that role with him next season.

"I just want to keep working on what I’ve been working on all timing, my consistency, and help my team in any way I can,” Conde concluded.

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