(Crick: Richmond Flying Squirrels; MiLB.com)
I was able to catch Kyle Crick’s first start for Richmond this morning, which came in the fourth and final game of the Flying Squirrels’ season-opening series in New Britain. Crick, who as most of us around these parts know is the top prospect in the system, worked a very clean 5 innings and earned the win, as his Richmond club won by a final of 8-2.
Crick was in MLB camp this spring, and the only real action he saw was in the pre-spring intrasquad game, as well as the “futures” game the Giants held midway through camp. He really didn’t fare well in that futures game. I thought for sure Crick pitched an inning of actual Cactus League play, but I can’t find his name in the official spring training stats. Either way, the point I’m trying to make here is Cricky didn’t exactly earn rave reviews in his brief action this spring. He showed that his control issues are very real, while a few other names (Flores, Blackburn, Blach) seemed to really improve their stock before the season started.
The only reason I bring the spring stuff up at all is to point out how pleased I was with Crick’s first start today, as I’m sure the organization was as well. He struck out two batters in the first, allowing a double in the process. He surrendered a walk and an RBI double in the second, but he appeared to be in complete control the rest of the way. According to Jon Laaser, the fastball was humming at a steady 95-96. While a couple of them were hit hard, Crick easily blew his heater past a few batters. He also flipped in a couple nifty curves for strike 3. I think that’s what I love about Crick – all 3 of his secondary offerings have the potential to strike you out, depending on the game. Once he gets to the point where he can strike you out with all of them, every night, he’ll be a big leaguer in a hurry.
While we’re used to seeing double-digit strikeouts in Crick’s line score, I’m just happy he didn’t beat himself out there today. Only two walks… now that’s something to get excited about. He threw 74 pitches on the day, and only allowed the one run…a solid overall outing for Crick in his Eastern League debut.
Crick Final Line: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Jason Berken, FRS: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Pat Young, SJ: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 4 K – Impressive first start for 2013 draftee Young, who stands at 6-foot-7 and might be a real steal from that draft class.
Carlos Diaz, AUG: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 5 K – Diaz featured a fastball running up to 92 and an impressive changeup, according to David Lee. He went unscathed through the first 3 innings, but ran into trouble in the 4th.
Video Courtesy of Conner Penfold
Tyler Horan, AUG: 2-4, 2B, RBI – Horan’s bat is starting to heat up. I really thought he would start the year in San Jose with his resume at VA Tech, so I’d like to think he’ll post solid numbers in the SALLY this season.
Ben Turner, SJ: 3-4, 2 R – Turner is hitting .500 over his 1st 3 games. He’s a tall catcher, known more for his defense… so 3-hit games are a great sight to see.
Jarrett Parker, RCH: 2-5, 2B, R, RBI – Parker continues to rake, hitting .556 for the series. I was very impressed with his opposite field approach today.
Gary Brown, FRS: 3-5, 3 R, 2B, 3B, SB – Heck of a game from Brown, who is playing like a true leadoff hitter (and a difference-maker) early on for Fresno.
Joe Panik, FRS: 3-5, R, RBI – All of Panik’s hits were singles, but he’s beginning to show the bat control we were hoping to see more of last season in Richmond.
Video Courtesy of Conner Penfold