Healthy Crowe ready for another big league shot
June 27, 2012
COLUMBUS - Ask any baseball scout or personnel figure what is necessary for a player to develop and reach their potential, and they will likely reply with something centered on repetition.
Trevor Crowe agrees.
But for the last two years, the 28-year-old Columbus Clippers outfielder has struggled with injuries, making it hard for him to sustain any type of consistent performance. He’s healthy now, though, and ready to get to the level he believes he can play at.
“I feel good. My body feels good. I’m healthy,” Crowe said. “But baseball is a game of repetition, and it took me a couple games to get in that groove. Recently, I’m starting to be consistent.”
Crowe is coming off an injury to his oblique that put him on the disabled list for about a month starting at the beginning of May. After a brief rehab assignment with Akron, the switch-hitting outfielder has been with Columbus for two weeks. He started slow but has come on of late, recording seven hits over his last five starts.
The injury was yet another roadblock in Crowe’s path to the big leagues. Prior to being sidelined, Crowe was hitting .286 and looked primed for a call up to Cleveland. He’s been with the Indians before, playing in a total of 205 games since 2009, but for the eight-year veteran, the time to get to the majors and stay there might be now, or never.
The 14th overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft, Crowe hasn’t had the big-league success many of his first-round colleagues have had.
Ryan Braun, the fifth overall pick in the 2005 draft, was last year’s National League Most Valuable Player. Andrew McCutchen, the 11th overall selection, is hitting .339 with 13 homers and 46 RBIs with the Pirates. Ryan Zimmerman and Troy Tulowitzki, picked fourth and seventh, respectively, already have Gold Gloves.
Plenty of prospects fail to live up to their expectations, but for Crowe, a lot of what he hasn’t done can be attributed to injury.
After spending the majority of the 2010 season with Cleveland, in which he hit .252 with two homers, 36 RBIs and 20 stolen bases, Crowe injured his right shoulder and underwent surgery. He had to miss most of the 2011 season.
“Obviously, any time you have injuries, it’s frustrating, because you want to be on the field,” Crowe said. “You look back and you see there were some great opportunities to get playing time at the Major League level.”
Due mostly to his inability to stay healthy, Crowe was dropped from the Indians’ 40-man roster last November.
“To be honest, it was a good business move by the Indians,” Crowe said “Baseball is a big business and I had been injured that year and then got injured right again.”
The fact that the team that drafted him in the first round had given up on him, to an extent, didn’t really spark a fire in his playing engine. What did was the fact that 29 other teams had a chance to claim him, but didn’t.
With the way he has been playing lately, and the performance the Indians’ have been getting from their corner outfielders, a call up to Cleveland in the near future seems possible for Crowe.
Like any minor leaguer, getting to the big leagues is a thrill. Crowe, though, doesn’t just want to make it back to Cleveland, he wants to make an impact and be a mainstay on the Indians’ roster for years to come.
“My goal is to help the team win over a long period of time, stay there and make an impact. Getting back is part of the piece and performing and staying there is the other part of the piece,” Crowe said.
In order to do that, Crowe understands that the daily reps he is getting with Columbus—the ones he has missed out on over the past two years because of injury—are vital.
If Crowe does get up to Cleveland, the Indians will be getting a player that is highly thought of by Columbus manager Mike Sarbaugh.
“He brings energy to the lineup. He’s able to hit from both sides, which is a big help. He’s done a really good job (in Columbus),” Sarbaugh said.
Even though he has gone through a lot lately, Crowe does not have any regrets. He says he will continue not to if he keeps doing what he has been doing: taking things day to day.
“Everyone has their own path and for me, it’s just about taking advantage of every single day. I feel like if I do that, I’m going to look back at the end of my career and be happy with the way things turned out,” Crowe said.
Andrew Holleran is a third-year journalism student at The Ohio State University. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewjholleran or reach him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.