■ Missouri's incoming Fall 2009 class is ranked #23 in Baseball America's Top 25 Recruiting Classes. Other Big 12 schools on the list: #6 Texas, #16 Oklahoma. Texas A&M and Oklahoma State both lost their top 3 recruits to the June Draft.
MU in the Minors
■ First-rounder Crow making up for lost time (mlb.com)
Before the Royals were ready to let Crow get that stuff going, they wanted to be certain that he was physically ready. Crow was asked to go through a series of assessments before being allowed to pitch in instructional league games. While Crow was excited to be doing anything with a team again, it was a slow couple of weeks full of shoulder exercises and workouts.
"From their perspective, they wanted to make sure I was 100 percent sound," Crow said. "I could say that had stayed in shape, but they wouldn't know for sure. It's probably for the best in the long run. I'm throwing now, that's all that matters and I'm ready to keep going."
. . .
He wasn't just ready to throw, he was ready to pitch. Showing virtually no rust, Crow kicked things off with a pair of 1-2-3 innings in his first two outings. Building his stamina gradually, he pitched two innings in his final appearance.
He's been impressive on the mound, throwing his fastball in the 91-95 mph range and showing his slider and changeup. Even more impressive was his efficiency and his ability to keep the ball down in the zone.
"I think I did a good job of staying in shape," Crow said of his down time. "I wasn't facing hitters, but I was simulating. In my bullpens, I made sure I had a purpose for every pitch. I wasn't too surprised I've been able to do well so far. I'm really enjoying it, and I'm learning a lot of new things from coaches and other players."
Crow appears to be so far ahead of the Royals' expectations that they may not shut him down when instructs end on Friday. Instead, they may send the No. 12 overall pick to the Arizona Fall League to pitch more innings and see how he responds to the challenge of that advanced circuit.
"We want to make sure he feels good, his arm feels good, then maybe make four or five appearances there," Picollo said. "Nothing's been decided yet. "He goes about his business. He's a good kid, you wouldn't know if he was a first-rounder or a 45th-rounder. There's a lot of humility there. It's very refreshing and it's the attitude we're looking for."
"If I get that opportunity, it's going to be great," said Crow, who would join fellow
2009 pitching draftees Stephen Strasburg, Mike Minor, Mike Leake, Drew Storen, Tanner Scheppers and Andy Oliver in the AFL.
"Seeing all those other pitchers who are really talented, facing those hitters. It should be exciting, I'd love that opportunity."