Right-handed pitcher Kyle Crick was taken 49th overall in the 2011 MLB draft. The San Francisco Giants went over slot to give the Sherman High School product a signing bonus of $900,000. Due to a protracted negotation, he threw only seven innings in 2011.
Kyle Crick threw 111.1 innings in 2012 for the Giants Class-A affiliate. He struck out an impressive 27.1 percent of hitters, while walking 14.2 percent. In 2013, the Giants promoted Crick to High-A, where he made 14 starts. The 20 year-old struck out a whopping 33.8 percent of hitters, and walked 13.9 percent. Batters hit just .201 against Crick with one home run. An oblique strain forced him to miss two months.
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Following his impressive season, the Giants sent him to the Arizona Fall League for some additional seasoning. Against mostly older competition, Kyle Crick has struck out 19 hitters in 12.2 innings. Control continues to be an issue, as he has handed out nine walks.
At 6′-3″ and 220 pounds, Kyle Crick has an ideal pitcher’s body. His fastball velocity has picked up significantly since being drafted. In the AFL, it’s averaging 96 miles per hour. When I saw him, he was offering both a curveball and a slider. Due to inconsistent release points, the pitches tended to blur together. He appears to be focusing on the slider now, as the pitch is up in the 85-88 range in the AFL. It shows good depth and quick break at times. The change-up is very much a work in progress. Right now there’s not enough separation from his fastball, and he doesn’t have a feel for the pitch.
Crick uses a high leg kick and a long stride, which sometimes makes an already good fastball look even better. He has nice rhythm to start his delivery. When he gets on top of his pitches, there’s some movement on the fastball. However, his arm slot tends to vary. Also, his front side flies open prematurely. He landed awkwardly on several of his pitches when I saw him. His arm action isn’t very controlled. There are definitely some mechanical kinks to be smoothed out if Crick is going to have average control.
The Giants have been pretty successful developing power pitchers. Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, and Tim Lincecum jump to mind. Kyle Crick is a raw prospect, but the upside is very exciting. He could be top of the rotation guy if everything works out, but he’s a long way from that point. Fortunately, he’s not yet 21 years old.