Doug Fister on the disabled list yesterday and ..."/> Doug Fister on the disabled list yesterday and ..."/> Doug Fister on the disabled list yesterday and ..."/>

Scouting Casey Crosby


The Tigers put Doug Fister on the disabled list yesterday and called up left-hander Casey Crosby. I’m sure that most Tigers fans are pretty familiar with Crosby, however, I wanted to get a scouting report up for those that are interested. Here is one that was written by myself last year at Detroit Baseball Page.


Casey Crosby is a 6’5″ 200lb left-hander drafted out of high school in 2007. The Tigers went over slot to get the talented youngster and he immediately had Tommy John Surgery in 2007. Crosby managed to get back on the field in 2008, albeit for just 3 appearances in the GCL. In 2009 Crosby took the field full time for Class A West Michigan and made 24 starts. There he showed his talents, and finished the season with a 2.41 ERA and held opponents to a .195 batting average. Big things were expected in 2010, but Crosby once again had elbow trouble. He didn’t appear until the end of the season, and pitched only 3 times with horrible results. It was essentially another wasted developmental season. In 2011, the Tigers have gotten pretty aggressive with Crosby. He started in AA Erie and has performed pretty well so far. His ERA sits at 3.79 while he continues to get back in the swing of things. Crosby is now 22 years old, so the Tigers needed to find out what they got with him.


Crosby is a big strong lefty with a three pitch mix. There was obviously concerns with his delivery given a 2nd elbow issue in 3 years,  but the Tigers have supposedly reworked his delivery and things seem to be going well. They are being relatively cautious with him so far, but his stuff is legitimate big league stuff.

His fastball sits in the mid 90’s. Most of the time its 92-95 mph, and can occasionally touch higher reaching 97. His big frame allows him to get good downward plane on his fastball, and Crosby is more than willing to back guys off the plate. He generates a lot of power with his strong lower half, and is still working on commanding his fastball.

His curveball is his 2nd best pitch. His curve has a chance to be an above average, sometimes plus curve ball. Again, its another pitch that he needs to add command too. Well, control really. He throws a hard curveball in the low 80’s and can get good downward movement with the pitch. He doesn’t throw enough strikes with it from what I have seen, but at times its nasty, and could be a real weapon against lefties when used with his plus fastball.

His change is his 3rd pitch. And from what I saw, I liked it. He still has some work to do with it, as there isn’t enough separation between the change and his fastball, but I’ve seen some good ones from Crosby from time to time. When he throws it well, he gets some decent downward fade to his arm side. I think if he continues to work on his change, it has the chance to be a solid major league pitch.


Crosby is one of the most interesting guys in our system. If not the most interesting. His stuff is fantastic. I look forward to hopefully catching him in Erie this season, and am hopeful that his command can improve as the summer goes along. That is the big issue. Crosby has walked 21 batters in 35 innings this year. Thats obviously not what you want to see from a top prospect. However, control and command is usually the last thing for guys to regain when they come back from layoffs.

The Tigers are going to have to let Crosby continue starting in the minor leagues. One, he just hasn’t thrown enough pitches to develop at this point. And two, if he has reworked his delivery, he has to get comfortable with that, and hopefully the command will come. If Crosby’s command comes a little bit, and he can cut his walk rate to down around 3/9, he could be an effective #2 or 3 in the majors. His stuff is that good.

Even if Crosby doesn’t make it as a starter, he is going to have the chance at being a high leverage bullpen arm at some point. He is a good athlete and was a good football player in high school, so he has somewhat of an aggressive mentality out there on the mound. With the juice in his arm, he could easily pump mid to upper 90’s fastballs in short stints.

Obviously, his health history is a red flag, and may be yet another reason he ends up in the pen. Crosby is going to have to prove he can be healthy for more than one year likely to stick in the rotation. By that time the Tigers might have used him in the pen and liked it.

I would love for Crosby to be a starter, but think he likely ends up in the pen. Hope I’m wrong on that one, but he should put on a Tiger uniform sometime in 2012 one way or another.

What I think now (2012):

Not much different on the stuff. Crosby still throws hard, has a curve that isn’t the biggest, but gets good, quick break. I didn’t see him in Erie last season, but got word his change was still inconsistent and not a big part of his game. That could be different this year. He has done better his last couple outings in Toledo this season, and I think he was clearly the best choice to replace Fister at this point. Should get a couple chances to show his stuff.