For a handful of years now the Milwaukee Brewers organization has drawn praise for their ability to develop and churn out quality pitching prospects. On Wednesday, they brought in another pitcher that they hope to turn into a future major league contributor.
In their second announced deal of the day, the Brewers acquired right-handed pitching prospect Coleman Crow from the New York Mets. In return, Milwaukee traded away pitcher Adrian Houser and outfielder Tyrone Taylor from the major league roster.
Much of the post mortem analysis of the move revolved around how the Brewers were able to shed around $7MM of projected payroll and trade away a player in Taylor who may not have had much of a shot for playing time in a crowded outfield. But on the other side of the coin is a young pitcher who slots in as a top 30 prospect in the organization.
Taking a look at new Milwaukee Brewers pitching prospect Coleman Crow.
Crow started off his professional career with the Angels, who drafted him in the 28th round (back when that many rounds existed) of the 2019 draft out of Pike County High School in Georgia. With the 2020 minor league season being canceled due to the Covid pandemic, he wouldn't begin his trek through the minors until 2021.
In his affiliated ball debut at the A level, Crow would pitch in 13 games, starting 10, and put up a 4.19 ERA. Later that fall, though, he would really start to open some eyes as he dominated the Arizona Fall League to the tune of a 1.59 ERA, 10.6 K/9, and impressive ratio of 20 strikeouts to just two walks over 17 innings.
Crow would make the jump to Double-A in 2022, his age 21 season. While his ERA would balloon a bit to 4.85, many of his other numbers wouldn't look half bad as he put up a 1.313 WHIP, 9.0 K/9, and ratio of 128 strikeouts to 35 walks in 128 innings.
Back in Double-A to start 2023, Crow got off to a hot start, giving up just five runs in his first four starts for a 1.88 ERA and a 0.625 WHIP. Unfortunately, Tommy John surgery would end his season prematurely and puts his status for 2024 into question as well.
Still, Coleman would be sought after even while injured as the Mets would end up trading for him as part of a package received when they sent third baseman Eduardo Escobar to the Angels. Nearly half a year after that trade, he now heads to Milwaukee.
Upon his arrival in the Brewers organization, MLB Pipeline has ranked him as the No. 25 prospect in the system, right between rising infield prospect Juan Baez and recently drafted high school pitcher Bishop Letson. Per the site's profile on Crow:
"While none of Crow’s pitches jump off the page, the undersized right-hander does have four different ones with a very good sense of how to use them. His fastball averaged only around 90 mph in 2022, touching 94, but it plays up and gets a lot of ground-ball outs because of its sink. He throws his low-80s slider almost nearly as much as the fastball and it comes with very high spin rates to miss bats in and out of the zone. He can fold in a slower upper-70s curveball at times and his changeup flashes above-average-to-plus as well."- MLB Pipeline
The fact that the Brewers wanted to add more starting pitching depth should come as no surprise. With Brandon Woodruff gone and Corbin Burnes a year from free agency, the only certainty in the starting rotation moving forward at this point is Freddy Peralta. So the more options the Brewers have for their rotation of the future, the better.
Crow may not see the field much in 2024, but it's important to remember that he's only 22 going on 23. He has a whole career in front of him, possibly one that could end up being another successful pitching development project for the Brewers.