BLUF: Ingredients are there to be a classic power arm but he remains very, very raw.
The Player: Kyle Crick (RHP, San Francisco Giants) – Drafted by the Giants in the supplemental first round (49th overall) in 2011. Pitched in seven games in relief last year, posting a 6.43 ERA after allowing nine hits and walking eight in just seven innings. Has a 2.34 ERA in 20 starts for Low-A Augusta so far this year. Allowed only 59 hits in 100 innings with 62 walks and 112 strikeouts.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Industry Contacts
Body (6-4, 220): Excellent build. Projectable body. Not as thick as the height/weight suggests. Solid athleticism with strength and fluidity. Workhorse body.
Delivery/Mechanics: Good pace and consistent timing through delivery. Drops hands to waist and then back up, giving him consistent rhythm throughout. Arm works well. Has some effort but nothing alarming. Falls off to 1B at times and will need to finish more consistently to field position. Must improve consistency of landing foot to improve control/command.
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Wind-up): High – 98, Low – 90, Average 92-94, Grade – 60/70
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Stretch): High – 97, Low 90, Average 92-93, Grade – 60/70
Fastball (FB) Movement: Good natural life with some sink when he keeps his arm up. FB has good angle because of large frame. Ball gets on hitters quickly and appears to jump at times because of extra-long stride. Potential for plus movement when he learns to use it when/how he wants to. Grade – 50/60
Overall Fastball: Very good overall pitch. Learning how to use it but has raw ingredients to be a legit 7 pitch long term. Plus velo now that should sit a little higher with physical maturity and increased arm strength from logging innings. Grade – 60/70
Slider (SL): Potential quality secondary pitch. More of a horizontal breaker that could be a little tighter and add a downward, biting element to it. Drops the elbow and gets under it at times. Potential average pitch with more consistency, but a fair chance it never gets to that level. Could be better served focusing on CB. Grade – 30/40
Curveball (CB): Started to improve rapidly this year. Has tendency to tip pitch by digging for grip. When on, shows tight overhand spin and hard 12-6 break. Still below-average now but potential bat-misser with more work. Chance to be classic power CB to complement power FB. Grade – 40/60
Change-up (CH): New pitch that has lacked focus in the past. Shows some feel for the pitch but rarely trusts the grip to slow it down. Often slows arm and gives the pitch away. Will flash an occasional average CH but they are rare. Very, very raw with pitch. Needs a ton of work. Hard to see better than below-average future grades given current inexperience and lack of feel. Grade – 20/40
Control: Fights inconsistent stride/landing foot and arm slot, leading to some difficulty finding the strike zone. Will have spurts where he pounds the zone. Must focus more on where his ball is going, rather than just throwing. Has the rhythm and arm action to suggest he could consistently throw strikes down the line. Grade – 40/60
Command: May never have pinpoint command, but should at least be able to keep FB low and move to both sides of the plate. Command of CB must come along for him to have sustained success. Could max out with average command, but will likely come up just short of that because of aggressive mentality and thrower mindset. Grade – 30/40
Summation: Great frame and potential for plus-plus FB that can miss bats on its own. Shows willingness to throw secondary pitches but all of them need work. Given inexperience, may benefit from narrowing arsenal for a while and focusing on FB, CB and CH. Has ingredients to be a number two starter but is a long way away from reaching that potential. Boom or bust type that could have any number of things go wrong at this early stage. Hard worker and excellent competitor. Steady improvement could land him in the middle of a rotation while he tantalizes with raw stuff that you believe should have better results. A perfect world scenario sees him topping out as a strong number two with strikeout stuff.
Relative Risk: High. Even though the Giants have a good track record with power pitchers, there’s a huge gap between present and potential.
Future: Will finish the 2012 season with Low-A Augusta and should head to High-A in 2013. The Giants rarely rush young power arms and he likely won’t see Double-A until 2014. If everything goes smoothly, he’s on the radar for the big leagues in 2015 and could be a rotation stalwart in 2016 and beyond.