Saturday, March 26, 2005

Jesse Crain Report

Jesse Crain, RHP, Minnesota Twins
Drafted 61st Overall (2nd Rd), 2002 Draft, University of Houston
Bats R/Throws R
23 YO, 6'1", 205 lbs

With a mid 90's fastball and a plus slider, he's a closer waiting to happen. Crain was a closer in college before being drafted. The Twins love him and it is easy to see why.

2004 Rochester: 2.49 ERA, 64 K, 17 BB, 38 H, 5 HR, 51 IP
2004 Minnesota: 2.00 ERA, 14 K, 12 BB, 17 H, 2 HR, 27 IP
mL Career: 1.94 ERA, 207 K, 53 BB, 95 H, 5 HR, 162 IP

Dominance! The only 2 complaints are the big jump in his walk rate after he was promoted to the Metrodome and a tendency to be wild inside the strikezone this season. That's not too much of a worry in my opinion. He never had problems with the walk at any point in the minors, usually being well within league norms. And he hadn't given up a home run in his entire professional career before 2004, so I'm willing to think that both were correctable. I blame the walk rate spike on nerves, as it is pretty common to see a young pitcher overthrowing in his first major league exposure.

Crain is going into this season as Joe Nathan's setup man. He's a logical candidate to succeed him at the glamour position. Keeping in mind standard pitching caveats (injury, trade to Colorado, sudden Matt Anderson-style collapse), he should be a very successful reliever for a decade or more.

ETA: Opening Day
4 Stars

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