Left-handed reliever Kyle Crockett has made a habit of moving around quickly lately, but he will spend the 2015 season just trying to stick in one place.
The University of Virginia product burst onto the Cleveland scene last season as the first player from the 2013 draft to appear in the Major Leagues. Called up temporarily in May and then permanently in June, Crockett made the most of his initial opportunities—just as he did in his brief minor league career.
Crockett’s minor league numbers are nothing short of outstanding; a 0.56 ERA in 42 career games that spanned 48.1 innings. Crockett struck out 55 minor leaguers over his two partial seasons and walked just eight as well. Remarkably, Crockett’s success followed him to baseball’s highest level, as the lefty continued to put up impressive numbers.
Crockett’s numbers look really good on the surface, as he threw 30.0 innings in 43 outings that resulted in a sparkling 1.80 ERA. The real beauty in Crockett’s season comes when the secondary numbers are considered, however, as he ranked among the best in the American League in a couple of categories that separate the good relievers from the poor.
Opposing hitters batted .239 against Crockett for the season, but just .200 when runners were on base. As the situation would get tighter, Crockett would only get better by posting a .128 BAA when runners were in scoring position—a statistic that placed him ninth best in the American League. Additionally, Crockett placed 11th in the AL by allowing the first batters that he faced to bat just .154.
Crockett’s role in 2014 grew and grew, not only from Double-A pitcher to Major Leaguer, but in Terry Francona’s bullpen over the course of the summer. Crockett started out as a mop-up man/long reliever, but started to accumulate important innings as a second situational lefty to go along with Marc Rzepczynski at the back of the bullpen by the end of the season. Crockett’s role in Cleveland should only continue to grow over the course of 2015, as the 23-year old will continue to do so as well.
Photo: Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer