So I went to the Naturals game tonight and thought I would provide some info on what I saw. Granted, this is from my uneducated eye and it is a sample size of one game, but I thought you guys might enjoy.
Obviously the big question is about Crow. First, the basics - his line was 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 R, 0 ER.
- He's a quick worker. Gets the ball and throws it. Not a lot of pawing around the mound or shaking off signs.
- His speed according to the stadium gun ranged from a low of 78 on his off-speed stuff to a high of 96 on the fastball. He was consistently lived between 84 and 91.
- His motion is pretty "active". It's not smooth by any means, which concerns me long-term, but he does generate a lot whip action.
- Move to first (from the few I saw) was pretty average.
- He fielded his position well on his chances.
- Mentally, he did a good job of shaking off some pretty shaky fielding in the top of the 2nd when the Missions got their unearned run. On back to back plays, Clint Robinson (1B) muffed an easy grounder and then Johnny Giavotella (2B) bobbled a surefire DP ball to significanly extend the inning. I didn't see any change at all in Crow's approach or demeanor.
- His control was really pretty good for the first game. He wasn't pinpoint by any means, but seemed to be spotting pretty well.
- He threw 80 pitches over the 4.2 and definitely wanted to stay in to qualify for the win for that last out. I liked the competitive spirit he showed.
Couple of other highlights from the game:
- Everett Teaford looked even stronger than Crow in his 4.1 to finish the game out. Despite not having the same arsenal of pitches, he was CONSISTENTLY ahead in the count and that made all the difference in the world. He has no shot at making the Royals, however, due to his ability to take a starter's gem and take it to completion. Sad.
- Manny Pina absolutely obliterated a ball over the wall in left-center field.
- Derrick Robinson is crazy fast - but he looks Willy Mays Hayes-ish with the bat. Tom Goodwin anyone?
- I know he's hardly ever talked about, but I got my first look at Nick Van Stratten tonight. I really enjoyed watching him. His bat is over active in the box, but man the bat speed is great. He's a big hustler and has a great feel for the game. Will likely be a fan favorite.
- The team walked 6 times and only struck out 4. I liked seeing that for a change. Conversely, Crow/Teaford combined to strikeout 8 and walk 5.
Hope you guys enjoy.
Can't stop though without pointing out that in other ML news, Wilmington seems to be buying into the process wholeheartedly. After five innings of 0 ER, 6 K ball by their starter Mike Montgomery, the bullpen looked just like their MLB role models and gave up 3 ER in 3 IP.
Start 'em young fellas.