Wil Crowe is an interesting option for the 5th spot for several reasons, and in my opinion, he and one other have the most legitimate shot at getting the 5th spot. There’s no question that Crowe struggled during his three starts in 2020. Opponents had a hard hit rate of 44.8%, he posted a WHIP of 1.57 and an xFIP of 7.75.
Crowe was due for a change of scenery, if you ask me. I’m very curious to see how Oscar Marin handles this 26-year-old hurler from Tennesee. Marin seems to preach analytics, and I think this approach can help a guy like Crowe tremendously.
One thing I want to mention is I think Crowe has the potential to be a mid-rotation guy. His fastball sits around 92-93. His change up has a 55 value, curveball has a 55 future value, and he has a decent slider. His one major concern is walks. In just 8.1 innings pitched last season he walked eight batters which is why FanGraphs has his command at a 45 future value.
Crowe came to the Pittsburgh Pirates as part of the Josh Bell trade. Entering the 2020 season, the right-handed pitcher was a top 5 prospect in the Washington Nationals’ farm system. There is no denying that the talent is there for Crowe, he just needs to harness it.