Crowe put himself on the map as a South Carolina freshman and continued to improve his stock in early 2015 before blowing out his elbow and requiring Tommy John surgery that wiped out his entire ’16 campaign. After turning down the Indians as 21st-round pick that June, Crowe returned to the mound in 2017 and quickly re-established himself as a Draft prospect, earning a selection in the second round by Washington. He garnered Carolina League Pitcher of the Year honors in his first full season, going 11-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) at Potomac before advancing to Double-A, then climbed from Double-A up to Triple-A Fresno in 2019 while finishing second among all Nats farmhands in strikeouts (130). He made his big league debut in 2020, making three starts, then was sent to the Pirates on Christmas Eve with Eddy Yean in the Josh Bell deal.
Crowe’s four-seam fastball features above-average velocity, sitting around 92-94 mph and touching a bit higher at times, but the pitch tends to jump on hitters due to its high spin rate and because he commands it well. He shows similar aptitude for a sinker that he uses to keep batters from sitting on his relatively straight four-seamer. Crowe’s above-average changeup is a swing-and-miss weapon, one that plays nicely off his heater, and he also shows feel for mixing in an average slider and a curveball, with the many scouts preferring the former to the latter.
After wearing down towards the end of his first full season, Crowe was the epitome of durable in 2019 as he paced all Nats farmhands with 149 1/3 innings. Improving his breaking balls and overall pitch usage are the last boxes to check in Crowe’s development, and he should have no problem carving out a role as a No. 4 or 5 starter once that is in place.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50
Crowe looked the part of a future first-rounder during his first season and a half at South Carolina before blowing out his elbow and requiring Tommy John surgery in mid-2015. After sitting out all of 2016 and then turning down Cleveland as a 21st-round pick, Crowe resuscitated his prospect status with the Gamecocks and became Washington's second-round pick in 2017. In his first full season, Crowe garnered Pitcher of the Year honors in the Class A Advanced Carolina League, going 11-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) at Potomac before advancing to Double-A. He was named the organization's co-Pitcher of the Year with Ben Braymer.
Crowe's elbow reconstruction has had little impact on his velocity, as he spent 2018 pitching at 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.
Crowe wore down during the second half of his first full season, which prompted the Nationals to shut him down until fall instructional league. Big and physical, he should be able to handle a greater workload once he builds up the necessary strength. Improving his pitch usage and command are the next steps for Crowe, who has the size, stuff and feel to develop into a No. 4 or 5 starter.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50
Crowe reportedly turned down seven-figure offers from big league clubs as a Tennessee prep in 2013, the same year that he would pass on signing with the Indians as a 31st-round pick in favor of attending South Carolina. He looked the part of future first-rounder during his first season and a half with the Gamecocks before blowing out his elbow and requiring Tommy John surgery in mid-2015. After sitting out all of 2016 and turning down Cleveland once again in that year's Draft (21st round), Crowe returned to South Carolina, resuscitated his prospect status and became Washington's second-round pick in 2017.
Crowe's elbow reconstruction did little to affect his velocity, as he spent his senior year operating at 92-95 mph with sink while hitting 97. He throws an above-average curveball with power and depth, and his slider earns similar grades from evaluators. Crowe also has feel for mixing in an average changeup, while his strike-throwing ability and solid command allows his four-pitch mix to play.
Crowe's large frame earns him Joe Blanton comparisons, and while he's not terribly athletic, his delivery works well enough to believe he can stick in a starting rotation. The Nationals may bring him along slowly given his medical history, but Crowe has the size, stuff and feel to develop into a No. 4 or 5 starter.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 65 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50
As a Tennessee high schooler in 2013, Crowe turned down seven-figure overtures from big league clubs and passed when the Indians took him in the 31st round so he could attend South Carolina. After looking like a potential future first-rounder during his first season and a half with the Gamecocks, he blew out his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery in mid-2015. He sat out the entire 2016 season, turned down Cleveland again (this time in the 21st round) and returned to South Carolina and reasserted his status as a prospect this year en route to a second-round selection by the Nationals.
Crowe has regained his velocity after having his elbow reconstructed, working at 92-95 mph and hitting 97 with nice sink. His curveball can be a plus pitch, thrown with power and depth when it's on, and he also can miss bats with his slider. His changeup shows some promise of becoming another solid offering, though it too requires more consistency.
Crowe has a history of throwing strikes and had no problems regaining his command this spring. His large frame earns him Joe Blanton comparisons, and while he's not terribly athletic, his delivery works well. The Nationals may bring him along slowly given his medical history and spring workload, but Crowe has the size, stuff and feel to develop into a mid-rotation starter.