Game: Reading Phillies @ Erie SeaWolves (Double-A Eastern League)
Date: May 28th, 2011 - Box Score - Recap
Compiled by: Daniel Jarrett
Casey Crosby was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 5th round in 2007 out of high school in Illinois, but he has had trouble staying on the diamond ever since. He required Tommy John surgery and missed all of the 2008 season, and was on the shelf for almost all of last season as well, due to lingering pain.
With just 122 innings thrown in three seasons since being drafted, its safe to say Crosby has some catching up to do. That's why it was no surprise that he wasn't getting much prospect love in the offseason. What was a surprise however, was the Tigers decision to push him so aggresively this year. Crosby has a big frame at 6'5" and 200 lbs so there's still hope that he can become a durable big league starting pitcher.
After not pitching in full season ball since the end of the 2009 season with Class-A West Michigan of the Midwest League, the Tigers surprised a lot of people by assigning Crosby to Double-A Erie of the Eastern League to start the 2011 season. Skipping Class-A Advanced is impressive enough, despite when you are coming off a season lost due to injury.
Thus far, Crosby has proved to critics that the Tigers made the right call by posting a 2-2 record and a 3.02 ERA over 9 starts. He has struck out 41 batters over 47.2 IP, and while his BAA is good at .224 with just 39 hits allowed, he has walked an additional 26 batters, raising his season WHIP to 1.36.
Crosby has also improved in May, posting a 2.48 ERA that is almost a run and a half lower than the 3.86 mark he posted in April. He'll need to improve his walk rate going forward as a 4.91 rate will not be sustainable in a Major League rotation.
Crosby throws hard for a left-hander, with a heavy fastball that can reach the mid-90s. He uses his 6'5" frame well, and is able to consistently throw the ball downhill. He throws a good curveball, but needs to get more consistent with his ability to throw it for strikes when he wants to and to bury it down beneath the zone when he wants to get hitters to chase. His changeup needs work, and if it comes around, could be a very strong weapon to offset his blazing fastball.
Despite his limited pro innings on the mound, Crosby shows an advanced feel for pitching and looks poised on the mound at all times. Currently headlining an Erie rotation that includes top prospect RHP Jacob Turner, Crosby appears to be developing into a potentially capable running mate for years to come in the Tigers rotation. Should his changeup not come around, Crosby's power fastball and nasty hook have closer written all over it.
Watch Crosby rack up a strikeout: