The Washington Nationals continue their theme of starting pitching with the 65th pick in the 2017 MLB Draft by taking Wil Crowe from South Carolina
After drafting Seth Romero in the first round, the Washington Nationals took another pitcher with their second round pick (65th overall) and went with right-hander Wil Crowe from South Carolina. Crowe was drafted last year in the 21st round by the Indians, but decided to go back to school for his senior year.
In the past, the Washington Nationals have taken pitchers that have had Tommy John surgery or were about to undergo the surgery. Crowe had to miss the 2016 season due to having the surgery in 2015 on the UCL in his right elbow.
Before the 2017 season began, Crowe pitched in the Coastal Plain League and put up some strong numbers. In five starts, he struck out 24 batters while only walking four and giving up five earned runs in 18 innings of work. Those numbers are courtesy of The Baseball Cube.
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While the Gamecocks didn’t make the NCAA Tournament this year, Crowe had a good senior season in the SEC. In 15 starts, he went 6-5 with a 3.41 ERA and had 90 strikeouts in 92.1 innings. He ended up leading the team in K’s, but was one of six pitchers on the team to give up more than five home runs.
During each of Crowe’s three seasons with South Carolina, he did have a tendency to walk hitters. After walking 19 batters in 2014 and 2015, the 22-year-old right-hander ended up walking 31 batters this past season. That will be something to monitor once his professional career gets started.
As for what Crowe has in his arsenal of pitches, he has a fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup. Here is what MLB Pipeline had to say about his pitches when they ranked him as the 44th best prospect in this year’s draft class:
"“Crowe has regained his velocity after having his elbow reconstructed, working at 92-95 and hitting 97 with nice sink. His curveball can be a plus pitch with power and depth when it’s on, and he also can miss bats with his slider. His changeup shows some promise of becoming another solid offering, though it too requires more consistency.”"
After the draft, Kris Kline, who is the scouting director for the Washington Nationals, talked about Crowe after the pick and what he projects as a future starter:
All in all, the Nats did address starting pitching with their first two picks in this year’s draft. While some see Romero as a possible bullpen option, general manager Mike Rizzo told the media last night that the Houston left-hander will be developed as a starter:
Rounds 3-10 in this year’s draft will take place tomorrow at 1 p.m ET and you can watch the picks on MLB.com. Who will be the first position player the Nats take and how many pitchers do they select? That will be interesting to find out.