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In the fourth round of the 2013 amateur draft, the Indians took a chance on left-handed reliever Kyle Crockett. At 6’2” and 170 pounds, the young southpaw relies more on deception, movement and pinpoint control than he does on velocity. However, his results are hard to argue with. Who needs velocity when you’re sending hitters back to the dugout 85% of the time?
For those of you who aren’t aware of this astounding fact, Crockett has allowed only one earned run in his entire professional career. Between spring training and all levels of the minors, he has pitched 38.1 innings and allowed 1 earned run on a solo homer. During this time he has struck out a remarkable 45 hitters while walking only 6. These numbers include an invincible season so far at the AA level.
With the Akron RubberDucks, Crockett has pitched 11.1 innings and has yet to allow an earned run. He has walked only one batter and given up 3 hits, good for a 0.36 WHIP stat. He has been kryptonite against lefties, facing nine so far this season and allowing none of them to reach base. Eight of them have been retired by either a strikeout or a ground ball out, with the remaining batter being retired on a pop-up. He’s added three saves as well. Opponents overall this season are batting just .79 against him.
Every time this kid is promoted to a new level, it seems like he gets even better. I’d be shocked if he kept pitching this way and didn’t nab a September call-up, but it seems like that might not even be the right question to ask right now. What I’m wondering is how long the Tribe can wait before promoting him to the big leagues. The bullpen is pretty solid right now, but Crockett could be a huge upgrade over C.C. Lee, and should definitely be given consideration if Carlos Carrasco struggles in the pen. Yes, he’s never pitched above the AA level, but this kind of dominance his difficult to ignore. I don’t remember ever seeing this kind of flawless start to any player’s professional career. The Indians should act quickly on Crockett and promote him to Triple-A as soon as possible, and give him a chance at the big league level as soon as July if he continues to pitch like Superman.