Amidst the seemingly endless boom of prospect chatter, the name of Aaron Crow rarely comes up. No one has quite written him off yet, but it appears that he's also not really exciting people anymore. If he ever did. It's actually kinda scary to imagine the state of Royal System Hype if the Crow pick had turned out differently.
Crow was the 12th overall pick in the 2009 Draft (remember, this was after the late surge in 2008 saw the Royals go from picking 5th to picking 12th). The three players taken after Crow were Grant Green (Oak), Matt Purke (Tex) and Alex White (Cle). About the only buzz I remember when the Royal took Crow was: a) a wave of "well it worked with Hochevar" jokes that weren't really funny and b) a general feeling that it was a safe pick. That, and we all got to spend a year trying to remember if it was "Crowe" or "Crow."
Here was what Darren wrote about Crow in his Prospect Rankings (he had Crow as the team's 10th ranked prospect):
Aaron Crow was the Royals 1st Round pick in 2009--after being the Nats 1st Round pick in 2008 and not signing. His 2010 was not good--especially the time at Northwest Arkansas. But his FIP at AA was 4.76 which isn't good but it's a heck of a lot better than his actual ERA. He got 63% ground ball rate there which is very good. But his command/control was bad. His FIP at Wilmington was 3.26 and he was able to display much better control. The reports on his stuff were still encouraging. His fastball was still in the low-mid 90s with good movement and he still had the good slider. The change-up is alright but definitely the third pitch in his arsenal. Several places have mentioned he would be an excellent closer candidate--but I hope they continue to give him the chance to start. I think of Crow a little bit like Eric Hosmer's prospect status a year ago--a talented guy who had a bad year--but if you dig around there are still reasons to really like this guy: good stuff and strong ground ball tendencies and could still become a #2 starter. He is a candidate to bounce back in 2011--he'll probably be at AA or AAA and if he pitches well he could see the big league roster during the summer.
So where are we all at regarding Aaron Crow? I'd love to hear your thoughts.