Right-hander Wil Crowe is hoping to put it all together in 2019 after slowing down a bit at the end of 2018. The 6-foot-2, 240-lb. starter went 11-0 to begin the season with high Single-A Potomac, but then went 0-5 after being elevated to Double-A Harrisburg.
Baseball America believes Crowe still has a lot of upside and lists him as its No. 5 prospect in the Nats top 10.
National writer Carlos Collazo says Crowe does not have overpowering stuff, but does have an intricate repertoire that makes him valuable. Crowe is another Tommy John surgery graduate.
“Yeah, he has exceptional feel for all four of his pitches,” Collazo said. “Everyone I have talked says they believe he seems comfortable throwing any of those pitches in any count. Where (Mason) Denaburg is kind of a riskier, high-upside guy, Crowe is the exact opposite, higher-floor, lower-ceiling type guy. More likely to reach the major leagues and impact the team in some capacity there.
“It’s unlikely that he will turn out to be an ace, just because he doesn’t have that premium stuff. His fastball hasn’t returned to the velocity levels that we saw prior to his Tommy John surgery at South Carolina.”
Crowe has demonstrated he can pitch, despite the rough end of the season for Harrisburg. Baseball America contends that Crowe’s slide was due more to fatigue than anything else, and predicts that Crowe will begin next season at Double-A. Collazo says there are several reasons why the South Carolina product can be very good.
“Just his ability to get on the mound, hit his spots within the strike zone, throw his secondaries for strikes when he needs to (when) behind in the count,” Collazo said. “That’s very impressive and allows him the consistency that you want to see from a college pitcher progressing through the minors. He’s moved through the system, really, with not many bumps in the road to this point.”
Crowe accumulated 116 1/3 innings in 2018, so the 24-year-old in 2019 will look to accumulate innings while going deep into games. Now that he has his feet wet at the Double-A level, he is better prepared for what to expect in a more talented league.