It’s the year 2020. The defending World Series champion Washington Nationals and the New York Mets are playing in Grapefruit League action this afternoon, but even in these days of streaming ballgames and radio broadcasts, there is no way to watch or listen to today’s game unless you’re in West Palm Beach’s FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
Sadly, you’ll have to follow the live box score if you want to keep up, and Spring Training box scores are notoriously, well, not great, in terms of following games. Which is kind of disappointing considering that Wil Crowe, the Nationals’ second-highest ranked pitching prospect is facing off against the club’s divisional rivals this afternoon.
Crowe, a 2017 2nd Round pick, taken 65th overall that June, spent the 2019 campaign at Double-A Harrisburg (3.87 ERA, 3.15 FIP, 2.08 BB/9, 8.40 K/9 in 16 starts and 95 1⁄3 IP) and Triple-A Fresno (6.17 ERA, 5.64 FIP, 4.33 BB/9, 6.83 K/9 in 54 IP), struggling after he was promoted to the Nationals’ top minor league affiliate.
“Crowe wore down during the second half of his first full season,” MLB’s Pipeline scouts noted in their write-up on the right-hander this season, so the Nationals decided to, “shut him down until fall instructional league.
The righty underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015, but he has rebounded nicely, with the Pipeline scouts writing that he features a, “91-95 mph with a four-seam fastball that stands out for its high spin rate.”
“His above-average curveball also features an impressive spin rate, which in turn gives it power and depth. His changeup arguably is his best secondary pitch, earning above-average grades from evaluators, and he also has feel for mixing in a slider.”
It would be fun to get a good look at Crowe, but unfortunately we’ll have to wait and see if he lines up to go on one of the days the Nationals’ Grapefruit League games are available on TV since we’re not in West Palm Beach.
If you’re following along on Twitter or MLB’s Gameday box score, feel free to help out your fellow Nats fans by posting updates in the comments below.