4/6 MiLB Wrap: Crick Sharp in First Start

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(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

Pitching Report

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

Stock Up

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

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10 thoughts on “4/6 MiLB Wrap: Crick Sharp in First Start”

  1. Glad to see Crick get off to a good start. This is a guy who I really think flies under the radar a bit. He doesn’t get a TON of attention outside of the SF organization, but he’s got big league stuff. And for him to have 3 solid pitches is so important because I look at a guy like Taijuan Walker (obviously he’s about as good as it gets), but Walker didn’t really possess a 2nd or 3rd pitch until about last year. He relied heavily on his fastball. I think if Crick can get his control down, you’ve got something more special than people even realize.

    1. Thanks for the comment, someone! 😉 I totally agree. You can’t teach that kind of velocity, and his secondary pitches have come a long way since even this time last year. Most people don’t realize that Crick hasn’t been pitching all that long. He played football and baseball in high school, and really didn’t become a “full time” pitcher until his junior or senior year, if I remember right. So this kid is still very raw! But man, the potential just oozes out of him…

  2. Great first start for Crick, and nice start for Brown, though it’s only a start for him. Crick only started pitching full time in his senior year in college. Great clay for the Giants to mold, plus low mileage on the body/arm and better mechanics to minimize injuries.

    And it seems like he has his control down (see the starts last season where he had a lot of strikeouts and few walks), his problem has been repeating that performance in almost every start. If he can do that – and I think he can, he’s still so young – then he can be as special as Bumgarner, if not more so.

    I think Crick flies under the radar a bit because of how good the rotation has been, he’s a shining light among a rotation of shining lights, so it’s like the Oscars sometimes, the voting is split, and thus Crick doesn’t look as great in the rankings. First it was Blackburn, then it was Escobar. Plus, people forget that he hasn’t been pitching for that long yet, he’s still on a steep learning curve, though it looks like it’ll be paying off this season.

    1. Thanks for the comment OGC. Sorry I am late to respond. Crick certainly flies under the radar on a national stage, exactly for the reasons you describe. But, I do think the baseball world got a pretty good look at what he’s capable of during the AFL last fall. The start he made on MLB Network was flat out dominance. He had everything working that night, and his fastball was untouchable. If he can progress the way we hope this season, I really see him being mentioned among the top 5 RHP in the minors by next year.

      1. Late to respond? 10 hours? Please, don’t worry about it, you need your sleep too! :^)

        Yeah, I think that’s possible too. But didn’t he, like, not start a lot of games, just got in an inning or two at a time? Or was that someone else?

        Clock’s ticking…. :^D

      2. WordPress is an English site… I’m pretty sure I still have the clock set as UK time. I never changed it! Crick made four or five starts in the AFL, and also pitched out of the bullpen a couple times. I believe his longest outing was 4 or 5 innings. Mejia, on the other hand, was almost strictly used as a reliever, and had some very short stints.

      3. Ah, thanks for the info, I must have swapped Mejia and Crick in my head, I thought Crick did not that get that many starts before they pushed him into the bullpen, but 4-5 starts is a good number.

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