Casey Crosby: How Good is He?

Blake VandeBunteContributor IFebruary 24, 2010

Casey Crosby had a lot of hype around him when he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers back in the 5th round of the 2007 draft. 

The Tigers then overpaid to keep Crosby out of college and in the Tigers organization.  Crosby then reported to the Tigers instructional league, promptly hurt his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery.

Crosby missed the rest of 2007 and most of 2008, pitching 4.2 innings in Rookie ball in 2008. 

Last year, at the age of 20, he pitched in Lo-A with the White Caps, started 24 games and pitched just over 100 innings.  In his 104.2 innings of work, the lefty struck out 117 batters and walked only 48.  He posted an ERA of 2.41 and had a WHIP of just 1.12.  That probably qualifies as a terrific season and more importantly, it showed that the surgery worked.

Casey’s fastball ranges from 94-97 mph and also features a change, a slider, and a curve.  He’s got a full pitching arsenal and he’s left-handed.  I would have to assume he pitches in AA for the bulk of 2010 unless the Tigers feel like starting him at hi-A Lakeland to begin the season.

Baseball America recently ranked Crosby as the 47th best prospect in baseball, ranking behind fellow Tiger prospect Jacob Turner.  My guess is that Crosby would rank higher if not for the elbow injury.

So where does Crosby fit into the big league scheme? 

Crosby turned 21 this past September and it seems really unlikely that he’ll pull a Rick Porcello and head right to the majors at any point this season.  If he pitches well in 2010, you would have to assume that he has a shot at making the team in 2011.  Still, the Tigers will likely be very careful with him and his development.