Hans Crouse *, RHP, PHI

Hans Crouse made it all the way to the major leagues last season. Can he jump right into the Phillies rotation in 2022?

Video courtesy of FanGraphs
  • Born: September 15, 1998
  • B/T: Left/Right
  • 6’4″, 180-lbs
  • Drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 2017 MLB June Amateur Draft from Dana Hills HS (Dana Point, CA).

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

Crouse was drafted in 2017, and he got a few innings in at rookie ball.

In 2018, between Low-A and A-ball, he put together a very solid season.

In 2019 he struggled a bit, particularly in his depressed strikeout numbers, but after the season he had elbow surgery to remove a bone spur, so we can forgive the lack of strikeouts.

In 2021, mostly at Double-A, his strikeouts bounced right back, but his walk rate doubled, and through it didn’t affect his WHIP, it certainly did his xFIP. Hey, that rhymes!

Breaking down his 2021 season by level and team, he started the year in the Texas organization, and did very well, though again not his xFIP. Most of the runs he gave up last year were here.

Then he’s traded to Philadelphia, and in 30 more Double-A innings he has a nifty WHIP, the same sluggish walk rate, a collapsed strikeout rate, and I’m beginning to think WHIPs are random with this kid.

He gets a brief bump to Triple-A where he strikes out 6 of the 20 batters he faced (good), walked 3 of them (not good), and gave up five hits (bye bye, WHIP).

Then late in the season he makes two starts for the Phillies, and the less said about that the better.

Not seeing any split issues here.

Pretty balanced, with a few more home runs to right.

He throws a low-to-mid 90s FB, and a very nice, diving, two-plane slider as his chief weapon. The slider in particular is plus. His changeup is used roughly every sixth pitch he throws, and he needs to develop that more to remain a starter. As a FB/SL reliever, he could be a very good weapon out of the pen.

But if you didn’t look at the video above, I invite you to do so now for his motion is odd. There are a lot of moving parts as he gets set up to pitch, and that often leads to control problems in pitchers. Well, he finished the year with control problems, but most of that time in Double-A wasn’t that bad, and prior to 2021 he had good control.

Basically, that slider is such a good weapon, even moderate control would make him effective.

The Scouts

Warnings

He’s not dominating the scouting charts, is he? But he does have some fantasy value with his strikeout potential.

It would be nice to see his control improve.

He could use more time at Triple-A to refine his changeup.

Conclusion

He’s 23 now, and essentially at Triple-A, so he’s on time to make an impact. Crouse needs to work on a couple of things, but the ingredients are there.

Worse case, he mows ’em down in the middle innings, if not the late innings.

Best case he’s a mid-rotation mainstay with a killer slider.

Notice how in both the worst- and best-case scenarios he’s a major leaguer. Yeah, I said it.

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