Rated as the number one prospect in the San Francisco Giants‘ farm system and #86 prospect overall according to MLB.com, 20-year old right-handed pitcher Kyle Crick is proving once again that the Giants organization has a knack for drafting and developing young pitchers. Following in the same mold as Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner, Crick was drafted right out of high school and projects to be a top of the rotation starting pitcher.
In 2011, after drafting infielder Joe Panik with the 29th overall selection, the Giants turned their attention to Crick in the supplemental first round (49th overall) with the compensatory pick they received when Juan Uribe signed with the Dodgers that previous off-season (thanks LA). Since then, Crick has given the Giants a lot to be excited about.
At 6’4, 230 lbs., Kyle Crick maintains an imposing presence on the mound. He has a big, physical, work-horse body type with an electric fastball that consistently hits 93-95 mph and can touch 99. In his first season in the minors with the Augusta GreenJackets in 2012, Crick showed overpowering stuff leading the SAL League with a 27.1 strikeout percentage fanning 128 batters in just over 111 innings.
On the mound, Crick uses his big body to his advantage. Maintaining a high arm angle, Crick has learned to keep his fastball deceptive to hitters. In addition, he has also developed a longer than normal stride (similar to Tim Lincecum) which allows his pitches to get on hitters quicker.
Most often drawing comparisons to Cain due to his size and durability, Crick has also been compared to Cain for his pitching aptitude and arsenal. While Crick’s fastball is clearly his best and most overpowering pitch, there is some debate as to which pitch will be his next most dominant. Although his slider is more developed and has the potential to be a plus pitch in the majors, many scouts believe that it is his newly developed curveball which has the most potential. In 2012, Crick’s curveball was voted best breaking pitch in the SAL League by managers.
Although he projects to be a top of the rotation starting pitcher, Crick is still a very raw and unpolished project and his development could go either way. His biggest area for improvement is undoubtedly his control which led him to give up 67 walks for a rate of 5.4 BB’s per 9 innings. At 20 years old, Crick has time to figure things out and the Giants will continue to let him progress at his own rate.
Crick figures to be starting the 2013 season at High-A San Jose and could be headlining what scouts believe to be ‘the best rotation in the minors.’ The other starters rumored to be joining Crick in San Jose include 2012 first-round draft pick Chris Stratton (Giants #3 rated prospect), 20-year old Clayton Blackburn (#6 overall), and 18-year old Adalberto Mejia (#10 overall).
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