In Cal Conley, Miami gets a player with hustle and heart

Feature photo courtesy of Becky Pennington.

With offers from so many high-profile Division I baseball programs, it has to be difficult for a high school sophomore to already make a college decision, but Cal Conley feels that he made the right one.

On Dec. 6, Cal Conley, a sophomore at Loveland High School in Loveland, Ohio, committed to the University of Miami (FL) to play baseball. Conley chose “The U” over schools like Louisville, Texas, and Arizona State, which had all offered him a scholarship.

“There isn’t a better place in the country to play,” Conley said about Miami. “It was my best offer and they seemed the most interested in me.”

The school itself and its baseball program weren’t the only things about Miami that appealed to Conley. He also grew up in the state of Florida and still has family members who live there.

“[Miami] is just a perfect fit for me,” Conley said.

The shortstop from Ohio is the 41st-ranked baseball player in the class of 2018, according to Perfect Game. Conley hit .286 in his freshman season at Loveland, and should continue to improve in his next three high school seasons. However, he knows that a big part of his recruitment wasn’t just about his stats.

“I think that my hustle is the best part of my game. It was one of the biggest things that these schools looked at. They loved my hustle and the way I played,” Conley said about his recruitment.

But hustle can only take you so far. Luckily, Conley has the defensive and offensive game to get him to the next level, although he knows there is still room to improve.

“I’ve got to get stronger and work on improving all of my tools to succeed at the college level,” Conley said.

Improving his game should not be too difficult for Conley, especially considering the fact that he has a former minor league player as a role model and a father.

“My dad has been a role model for me,” Conley said. “He has always led me in the right direction.”

Obviously, making it into the pros just like his father did is a big goal for Conley. He said that if he were drafted out of high school he would definitely consider going pro for the right amount of money. Unlike in other major sports, high school baseball players can be drafted and sign a professional contract without playing in college.

Should he stay on board, however, Conley should be a great fit for the Miami Hurricanes. His heart and hustle can help “The U” add to their four NCAA Baseball national championships.

When asked about committing to a college to play baseball, Conley said, “It’s very exciting, but I want to keep being humble and focus on getting better.”

Cal Conley likes to compare his game to that of St. Louis Cardinals star infielder Matt Carpenter, and if he keeps hustling and getting better, Conley isn’t far from becoming a star himself.

 

Connor Newcomb
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Connor Newcomb

Connor is a journalism major from Fallston, Maryland. Aside from TLB, he has also worked for Maryland Baseball Network, WMUC Sports and Fish Stripes on SB Nation. It is said that he will never be truly happy until the Orioles win a World Series in his lifetime. He reminds you to never bunt.
Connor Newcomb
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About Connor Newcomb 102 Articles
Connor is a journalism major from Fallston, Maryland. Aside from TLB, he has also worked for Maryland Baseball Network, WMUC Sports and Fish Stripes on SB Nation. It is said that he will never be truly happy until the Orioles win a World Series in his lifetime. He reminds you to never bunt.