|Florida RHP Jonathon Crawford (onlygators.com_|
First Inning: Right off the bat, what stood out is Crawford's pitching delivery. It isn't smooth by any means, but as John Sickels stated "its effective." Crawford brings it back and then quickly snaps it off. The first Miami batter led off with a double down the first base line. He then walked the third batter in four pitches. His best pitch of the inning came later as he threw a slider that the hitter rolled over which the Gators turned into a double-play to end the inning.
Second Inning: Got the first hitter out in front of a slider for an easy play for the first out. He then registered his first strikeout by getting the hitter to whiff on a sinking FB. Just missed on a FB for ball four. The next Miami batter then loaded the bases after getting a hit on a 1-2 FB right down the pipe. With the bases juice, Crawford threw his slider multiple times trying to get the hitter to chase and then got him to ground out after throwing it in. Not a perfect inning, but he got out of it.
Third Inning: Showed nice athleticism and mobility in back-to-back plays. First, a speedy lefty laid down a bunt which he quickly got to and make a solid throw to get the out. The next Cane hit a chopper back to the middle which he got to get the last out. Very quick work; only 9 pitches.
Fourth Inning: Crawford threw a FB inside which a hitter smoked into LF. Crawford then allowed a monster HR after throwing pretty much the same pitch (a slider right over the plate) in consecutive pitches. His slider was really working for him throughout the game, but he threw it one too many times in this situation. He followed that up with a comebacker up the middle and then a walk. Not a good inning for Crawford and the Canes lead 2-0.
Fifth Inning: The first hitter got on base and then the second hitter took another FB inside to LF. The next batter then laid down a bunt and Crawford made another impressive defensive play, throwing out the runner at 3B. He got the next hitter on three pitches after making him chase a really nice slider down and away; one of his best of the night. He managed to pitch out of the quick jam.
Sixth Inning: In a full count, Crawford threw an electric fastball right by the Miami hitter. A baserunning error causes the 3rd out. And with that, Crawford's night was done. His stats from this performance: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 3 K, 3 BB.
Overall Thoughts: Crawford is expected to be a first-round pick and maybe even a top 10 selection. Before the game, the biggest thing I read about was Crawford's mid-90s FB. I wasn't in Gainesville and the broadcast didn't show the speeds, but you could just tell how much velocity was on Crawford's FB which was freezing hitters early in ABs, getting him ahead in a lot of counts. I was also pretty impressed how hard and sharp his slider was. Also, Crawford showed great athleticism by quickly getting off of the mound and making a couple of nice defensive plays. Crawford struggled some at times with control and I didn't see much of a third pitch, but if he can improve on those factors, he will possess a really, really good fastball and a plus-slider to become a very solid pitcher in the major leagues.
Follow Pale Hose Prospectus on Twitter - @ChiSoxProspects