Friday, January 15, 2016

DrB's 2016 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #23 Kyle Crick

Kyle Crick, RHP.  DOB:  11/30/1992.  6'4", 220 lbs.

AA:  3-4, 3.29, 63.0 IP, 10.43 K/9, 9.43 BB/9, GO/AO= 0.60.

Kyle Crick has never been known for his command, but his wildness spun out of control in 2015 as his BB/9 climbed above a walk per inning.  He was a starter in April and May putting up ERA's under 2.00 while walking 26 batters in 32.1 IP.  Then, the wheels fell off in June when he put up an ERA of 9.45 with 14 BB in 6.2 IP.  He was moved to the bullpen where his ERA stabilized in the mid-3's, but he continued to issue walks at a rate of greater than 1 per inning for the remainder of the season.   At this point, it is very difficult to know how to rank Crick.  He obviously still has the stuff to be a frontline pitcher as evidenced by his K rate, but he's not going anywhere until he gets the walks under control and it's not at all clear how or if that is going to happen.  The Giants added him to the 40 man roster after the 2015 season so he probably has 3 seasons to figure it out.  At this point, I don't know if you can project a ceiling or an ETA for him.  Again, he needs to start getting his walks under control and it needs to start happening in 2016.


  1. Crick on Doc's Top 50:

    2012: 6
    2013: 3
    2014: 1
    2015: 3
    2016: 23

  2. I still like Crick a lot. I probably would have him higher than 23 but not a lot, so this is a quibble.

    He has the ability to limit walks - just peruse all his career starts, he has a lot of them where he strikes out a lot and walks few - but for some reason, cannot repeat that skill consistently.

    Then last season the wheels fell off after a promising start (see his 2nd to 4th starts). Still, while struggling, he was still pitching well enough, putting up good Game Scores until his last couple of starts. 7 of his first 8 starts were above 50 Game Score, with his main issue being that he threw so many pitches that they had to take him out before 5 IP. But then he just sank like a rock in his last three starts before getting placed into the bullpen.

    Looking at his Str%, StrLooking% and StrSwinging%, while his all went down in percentage, he was still getting a lot of StrLooking and StrSwinging, so his skill was there to confuse batters, but for some reason he was just not able to throw as many strikes as before, so the batters didn't have to swing as much.

    The thing is, he could be like Sanchez, still wild but enough under control to get his K/BB above 2, and he could have success in the majors. But as Runzler and others showed, that's easier said than done. I don't know what caused his 2015 season to spiral so badly, but he had it early in the season, but then lost it totally. Seems like something happened in May to make him lose his focus for the rest of the season, hopefully he can come into 2016, refreshed and recharged, and find what he had lost.

    1. Hope you don't mind, but I wrote something up on Crick mid last season and I think it basically still applies now, so I thought I would add this as well:

      Basically, he has issues but more importantly, he's shown skills, and wild pitchers often need time to tame the beast, and because he's still so young, he could take some time to figure things out and still become an MLB starter by age 25-26, like Homer Bailey.

    2. Personally, I would like to see him in Sacramento this year.
      Hopefully working through spring training with Rags etal will help.

      Richard in Winnipeg

    3. He's 25 already so he better get moving...

    4. Crick's lowest BB/9 in his pro career is 5.11. Yes, he has had good command in individual games, but has never been able to sustain that with any consistency. You certainly cannot check it off as a mastered skill. The 5.11 was in 2013. He followed that with a 6.08 in 2014 and the 9.43 last year. At age 23, after 5 pro seasons, you really have to wonder if he is ever going to turn it around. I would put the odds at no more than 50-50.

    5. Crick's just 23. A lot of time and has made strides in order to make him throw with less effort as a way for him to throw strikes. For me, the mental thing is still the problem. He needs to not be perfect in his pitches, thinking to spot the fastball on the black, instead, simplifying his view of the plate by making the plate to just 2 halves (horizontal or vertical) and not the 9 parts of the zone and just attack hitters. His fastball is more than just pure velocity. If he does that, he'll be the closer for the Giants.

  3. BP wrote up his 6/7/14 game and pointed out he's got 30 Control. And I don't think was anything but a typical 'good' game for him -- five innings pitched, only 1 earned run, 1 BB, 5 hits (1 was a HR) on the stat line. But because of the lack of control he threw 90 pitches in those 5 innings, plus hit a batter.

    To me he's just one of those guys that is never going to fulfill his potential. So even as Cove would rate him up, I'd be pushing him down. He's not getting better. In 2014 if people scouting you think you've got 30 control and in 2015 you're control is worse...

    In other prospect stuff, the Giants just signed Mike Kickham to a minor league deal. So he's back.