#3 Aaron Crow
Drafted: 1st Round, Pick #12 of 2009 Rule IV Draft
After being drafted in the first round of the 2008 draft by the Nationals, the team failed to sign the college right hander and so Crow was again available in the 2010 draft, where the Royals nabbed him in the number 12 spot. Upon being drafted Crow immediately became the most polished pitching prospect in the organization and I feel as though it is highly probable that we will see him in Kansas City this season.
According to Baseball America, Crow features the top fastball and slider in the system to go along with a change up that could also become his third plus pitch. His fastball sits in the low to mid 90s and has a lot of movement on it with a sinking action, while his slider is a very tight swing and miss pitch. The biggest concern at this point regarding Crow is that his delivery is not effortless and when he pitches he tends to wrap his hand and wrist around the ball. However, there are many other scouts that feel as though this won't be an issue especially since he repeats the delivery with ease.
While Crow's era from the Arizona Fall League isn't what Royals fans were hoping to see from their first round selection, it is important to put these numbers in context. The Arizona Fall League is notoriously a hitter's league and while Crow's era was high, his peripherals were respectable with a 12:2 K:BB ratio. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to seeing some better results in his first year in minor league ball.
Crow has the potential to a top of the rotation starter if his change up develops into a third plus offering. Since he is already so polished with above average command of two plus pitches his floor at this point would probably be that of a set up man or closer. When the Royals number 12 pick came up in last June's draft there were two names that I had in mind, the first was USC shortstop Grant Green and the second was Aaron Crow. In the end I think the Royals made a good decision by taking the local kid with the advanced arm and top of the rotation potential. Crow will more than likely begin the 2010 season in the Naturals rotation.