2016 San Francisco Giants Top Prospects: #20
**Edit: Ok, I’ve been thinking about this profile since the minute I clicked submit a couple days ago. Honestly, I don’t know whether my ranking of Crick is too high, too low, or just right. I guess that is something we will know more about at the end of the season. But what I’m concerned about is the write-up itself. I just don’t feel like I offered much insight here, and I apologize for that. These projects sometimes get bigger and more exhausting than you remember, and motivation isn’t always so high for each post.
Here’s the deal: Crick has so, so much talent. That’s undeniable. I’ve said this for the past few seasons, and I’ll say it again – Kyle Crick hasn’t faced a professional opponent that can beat him yet. To me, his biggest opposition has been himself, and it’s been a recurring theme for a while now. The best a hitter can really do against him is to leave the bat on their shoulder, and let him run his pitch count up… and that’s generally what they’ve done in Richmond. Still, his H/9 and HR/9 were stellar, as they’ve been throughout his career. So, you want a silver lining here, or something to hang your hat on for Crick? To me, it’s that ability to miss bats and limit hard contact. He’s still only 23, and if he can even find a minor tweak to get his control back in the 5/9 range (not great by any means), he could well be a very effective arm. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess whether that will happen.
#20: Kyle Crick, RHP, Age 23: Much as it pains me to write this, there really wasn’t a prospect in the system who had a more disappointing season than Crick – especially considering he was still #1 on many lists (including mine) coming into the year. For the second consecutive season at AA, the Texas right-hander struggled with command and pitch counts. This time, however, the Giants pulled him from the rotation as his walk rates ballooned out of control. Crick would spend the second half of 2015 pitching in relief, where he still walked over a batter per inning. For the year, he surrendered 66 free passes in only 63 innings. During his two campaigns at Richmond, he’s walked at least one hitter in all 33 combined starts, he’s never completed 7 innings in any one game.
There’s no doubt Crick still has great velocity and strikeout stuff, but his career 6.4 bb/9 is clearly holding him back from succeeding against advanced hitters. I really feel for the kid. He’s got one of the most electric fastballs I’ve ever seen… but until he shows that he can get the walks down to a non-alarming rate (which may never happen at this point), it’s hard to predict him having an impact role for a MLB team.