Welcome to the first official Minor League Profile series. Given the recent (one day before this article was written) announcement of non-roster invitees to Spring Training, it seemed that now was a great time to start. We’ll try to do one every week and help give you additional insight into the San Francisco Giants farm system.
Crick is a consensus (see MLB, Baseball America, Fangraphs, Minor League Ball) number one in the Giants Minor League System, and rightly so. At 6’4”, 220 lbs, Crick is a presence on the mound with good movement and tough speed. Based on his size and build, he is most often compared to Matt Cain.
No one doubts that Crick has the ability to be a future #1 starter – where the doubt starts to arise is in regard to his command. Currently, that is the only thing holding him back. The hard-throwing Texas-native has a mid-to-high 90’s fastball, a hard slider and a changeup that he doesn’t use enough. In 2013, Crick started 14 games (his season was cut short due to an oblique injury). He went 68.2 innings with a 12.5 K/9, 1.57 ERA and 1.267 WHIP.
Most project Crick to make his big league arrival in late 2015. The oblique injury he suffered in 2013 likely set him back a year, as he was only able to reach 68 innings in 2013. This, coupled with his slight command issues, is enough to convince most that he won’t be MLB-ready in 2014. A 2015 arrival also makes sense when compared to the recent Giants signings (and what I’ve been supporting all offseason). Tim Hudson and Tim Lincecum are around through 2015 to help bring in the new wave of homegrown arms. At the end of that season, we’ll see Crick – and a handful of other pitchers – start to come on, eventually to replace the Tims.
Look for Crick to focus mostly on repeating his mechanics this season as he continues to improve his command. I’d also expect to see extra attention to his changeup, something most young guys need to do early in their careers. It should be another good year for Crick, who will start the year in AA Richmond.
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