A Closer Look at Casey Crosby, LHP, Detroit Tigers

Casey Crosby, a promising left-handed pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, was drafted in the 5th round back in 2007 from an Illinois high school. His career, however, has been marred by injuries, including a significant Tommy John surgery that wiped out his entire 2008 season and persistent pain that sidelined him for much of last year.

With only 122 innings pitched over three seasons post-draft, Crosby has faced significant setbacks in his development. His limited play has caused him to fall off many prospect radars during the offseason. Nonetheless, the Tigers took a bold step in 2011 by assigning him to Double-A Erie in the Eastern League to start the season—skipping Class-A Advanced despite his recent injury history.

Performance and Progress in 2011

Crosby’s performance in 2011 has silenced some critics and justified the Tigers’ aggressive promotion. He has compiled a 2-2 record with a commendable 3.02 ERA across nine starts. In 47.2 innings pitched, he has notched 41 strikeouts, holding batters to a .224 average and conceding only 39 hits. However, his control remains a concern, as evidenced by his 26 walks, pushing his season WHIP to 1.36.

May proved to be an improvement for Crosby, showcasing a 2.48 ERA, significantly lower than his 3.86 ERA in April. Yet, to succeed at higher levels, particularly in the Major Leagues, he must address his high walk rate of 4.91.

Pitching Arsenal

Crosby’s repertoire includes a powerful fastball that reaches the mid-90s, which is impressive for a left-hander. His height at 6’5″ enables him to leverage his frame effectively, delivering pitches from a steep angle. His curveball is potent but lacks consistency in command. Crosby needs to refine his curveball control, both for strikes and for enticing batters to chase pitches out of the zone.

His changeup, currently underdeveloped, holds potential. If improved, it could complement his fastball excellently, providing a critical counter to keep hitters off balance.

What to Expect?

Despite the challenges of limited professional innings due to injuries, Crosby shows a mature approach to pitching and maintains composure on the court. He is a key piece in the rotation of an Erie team that also features prospect Jacob Turner. Crosby’s development in the coming seasons could lead to him becoming a staple in the Tigers’ starting rotation or, if he doesn’t work out with the changeup, a potential shutdown starter thanks to his powerful fastball and effective curveball.

As Crosby continues to recover and get in shape, the Tigers and their fans have reason to keep a close eye on his progress. His ability to overcome previous setbacks and adjust his mechanics and control will be crucial as he looks to realize his potential in the big leagues.