Monday, July 4, 2011

AC is Hot

Call it a comeback: Rookie reliever Aaron Crow is an All-Star (
Rookie reliever Louis Coleman played with Crow at Northwest Arkansas last year. And earlier this season, he told a story about Crow and his time with the Naturals.

Crow didn’t really know how to explain the bad outings, Coleman said. He would throw fastballs that moved out of the strike zone, and nothing seemed to be working.

“He would just be like, “Really?” ’ Coleman said.

But now the minor-league struggles are history.
. . .
Crow’s coming-out party has been an unqualified bright spot. He’s the first draft pick of the Dayton Moore era to become an All-Star; the first All-Star from the entire 2009 draft; and perhaps some tangible proof that the Royals’ youth movement is churning out talent.

That’s something — no matter how he ended up on the team.
Aaron Crow: All Star (
What’s so remarkable about that is after a 2010 season where he started at Double A and put up a disappointing 5.66 ERA in 119 innings, then got demoted to High A Wilmington and put up a 5.93 ERA in 44 innings.

After that kind of season, that Crow was anywhere above Double A is amazing in itself, but as a former first round pick (twice) and after a successful college career, the Royals weren’t focused so much on his numbers but on his stuff. He earned a shot in spring training and, after some mechanical tweaks, made the opening day roster out of the bullpen.

Since then, he’s been nearly untouchable.

In 39.2 innings out of the bullpen, he’s produced a 1.36 ERA and has struck out 8.8 batters per nine innings.
Aaron Crow validates Dayton Moore's draft strategy (
Crow - the Royals' first round selection in 2009 - becomes the first Dayton Moore draftee to be named an All-Star, surprising the many who thought Hilton Richardson would achieve that feat. Here is the excitement we exhibited when Aaron Crow was drafted by the Royals. Clearly, this All-Star selection validates everything Dayton Moore has done in the draft. Congratulations Dayton, you've earned this.

A few thoughts on the just unveiled All-Star rosters (Big League Stew)
Middle relievers are the new black: It's hard to find any positives with All-Star games determining home-field advantage in the World Series, but it has raised the profile of good middle relievers. Since the outcomes matter, the managers are putting more thought into roster construction and that has meant guys like Jonny Venters(notes), Tyler Clippard(notes) and Aaron Crow(notes) get on the teams even though they're not closers. In related news, the agents for those players are turning unexpected cartwheels today.
2011 American League All-Stars: A to W (
Aaron Crow, Royals: Second All-Star born in Topeka, Kansas. The other was Ross Grimsley of the 1978 Expos. It’s the sixth year in a row that a Royals pitcher has made the All-Star team.
Joel Hanrahan, Aaron Crow Make 2011 MLB All-Star Game, Invoke Ghosts Of Nationals' Past (
Crow, of course, is another story entirely. The Nationals took him with the ninth pick in the 2009 draft on account of him being one of the top pitchers in the draft. But the Nationals never signed him, haggling over several hundred thousand dollars and coming up short. Crow went back into the draft, and was taken 12th overall by the Kansas City Royals. He signed there, and this season, he's been fantastic, posting a 1.36 ERA out of the bullpen.

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