Texas Rangers scouting report on RHP Hans Crouse

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 08: A view of the glove and hat of Rougned Odor
ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 08: A view of the glove and hat of Rougned Odor /
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MLB Player Comp

Okay, before I say this, I want to ensure that everyone knows that I am not doing a tit-for-tat comp here. I’m not saying that the two are equal or Crouse is headed for the same career. I simply see a ton of similar young characteristics in their profiles, and if Hans develops in the same way, well, it could be very good.

More from Call to the Pen

The reason for that disclaimer is that while Crouse is a Calfornia boy that will come up for a Texas team, the guy I’m going to mention is a Texan who ended up a star for a California team. Yes, the best pitcher of the current generation, Clayton Kershaw.

Before you go ballistic on me, let’s step back to a young Kershaw who was allowed to be pushed by a Dodgers system that does push their guys more than the Rangers do for better or worse. In his debut season (and in his first full season in 2009), Clayton was a fastball dominant guy and threw 90% of his pitches between just two offerings. He threw 70% fastballs his first three seasons in the league, averaging 94 MPH, using a curve 20% his first two years, and then when he chose to change to a slider, he spent the next two seasons throwing 20% and 25% sliders.

Crouse has bigger velocity on his fastball, but he could seriously move quickly and succeed primarily with his fastball and slider as soon as the end of 2019 with the same level of improvement in control and command of both pitches as he saw in 2018. If he were to find a suitable third pitch that moved (perhaps not a looping curve for him, but something like a split or a cutter, or a spike curve), he could work like Clayton with changeups, as Kershaw has totaled just 2.2% changeups in his career.

The biggest thing that really stuck out to me in comparing the two was Kershaw’s ability to repeat his arm slot and mechanics even with varying the timing of those mechanics in order to throw off hitters. Crouse has that same ability, and while it’s not what you’d necessarily prescribe to someone just learning to toss, it can be incredibly effective for someone who can handle it.

Future role

Like any pitcher, the true floor for Crouse is that he is injured and never makes the major leagues for the Texas Rangers. However, he does have a fairly high “if he makes it” floor as his two-pitch stuff is so good that he could be a very good reliever that has the physical makeup to handle heavy workload out of the bullpen.

His most likely outcome for Clouse and the Texas Rangers is a very good mid-rotation starter that racks up a ton of innings at a high-quality level – the type of guy that could be the staff ace for a lower-tier team and is absolutely vital on a first-tier team. He certainly has the raw stuff and certainly has the mentality to have an above-average chance of exceeding that outcome, however, becoming a very good #2 or even a #1 starter for a good team.

dark. Next. Rangers 2019 top 10 prospects

The Texas Rangers are just beginning what will likely be a fairly painful rebuild for a few years. Luckily, they’ve gathered a few players like Hans Crouse that they can build their future around.