35-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Jesse Crain in 2017. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Jesse Crain Contract Information:
Agreed to a minor league contract with the White Sox in January of 2015 that includes an invite to spring training.
Crain (biceps) is not ruling out a return to baseball, Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports.
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Jesse Crain Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Jesse Crain: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Jesse Crain.
After posting a career-best 0.74 ERA and 11.3 K/9 in 38 appearances as the White Sox's setup man in 2013, Crain was favored to take over the Astros' closer role upon signing with the team last offseason. Unfortunately, his recovery from biceps surgery took longer than expected, and he missed the entire 2014 season as a result. Crain elected free agency in October, but re-signed with the White Sox on a minor league deal in January.
Crain had a career year out of the bullpen as a setup man for the White Sox last season, earning his first All-Star selection. In 38 games, he posted a 0.74 ERA and averaged 11.3 K/9 while tying up right-handed hitting to a .174/.230/.217 batting line. He was placed on the disabled list in early July with a strain in his throwing shoulder and, in a rare instance, was traded to the Rays at the trade deadline while he was injured. Despite hopes of returning, he was not able to recover in time to take the mound in Tampa Bay. Crain ended up signing with Houston in the offseason, and could be on the cusp of even greater fantasy relevance than he enjoyed during his healthy first half of 2013. The Astros' closer role remains on shaky ground, and although Josh Fields held on to the job at the end of last season, Crain, if healthy, has as good of a chance as anyone to see save opportunities.
Despite some in-season flux at the closer position, Crain only finished six games for the White Sox and did not earn a save. He would have been one of the White Sox's most frequently used relievers once again were it not for a pair of DL stints. Those shoulder and oblique injuries did not affect his on-field performance by much, as he was still able to strike out a career-high 11.3 K/9 and limit opposing batters to a career-low .171 batting average against. Look for his heavy utilization to continue, and he could also be on the trade block in the final year of his contract with the White Sox.
Crain appeared in a team-high 67 games in his first full season with the White Sox, and the majority of those appearances came in the eighth inning. Further, he showed skills growth in the form of an increased strikeout rate for the fourth consecutive season (career-high 9.64 K/9IP). Look for him to continue to serve as the White Sox's top right-handed setup man in 2012, although he could emerge as a dark horse for saves with the White Sox's decision to trade Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays in December.
Crain got off to such a slow start last season (13 earned runs in 16 innings) that it seemed he may have regressed to the form that saw him sent to the minors in the early part of 2009. However, he turned his season around with a 1.73 ERA and 50:22 K:BB ratio in 52 innings after May 20. But he did give up a key home run in the playoffs after allowing just five dingers during the regular season. Crain improved his strikeout rate last season and had the best average velocity on his fastball in his career - even before 2008 labrum and rotator cuff surgery. With good walk rates and an ability to keep the ball in the park, Crain could figure into the closer mix with the White Sox after being used in middle relief and a setup role with the Twins.
Crain had an 8.15 ERA and 13:12 K:BB ratio on June 14 and was demoted to Triple-A. He turned his season around when he returned in July as he had a 2.91 ERA and 30:15 K:BB ratio in 34 innings after July 23. In his second season back from labrum and rotator cuff surgery, the velocity on his fastball actually increased from his pre-surgery form. It looks like he can be a reliable part of Minnesota's setup corps in 2010.
Crain re-established himself as a key set-up man for the Twins after coming back from career-threatening labrum and rotator cuff surgery. Crain actually posted the best strikeout rate of his major league career despite missing most of 2007 but struggled slightly with his control (50:24 K:BB ratio). He'll likely be the top right-handed set-up man to closer Joe Nathan in 2009.
Crain's status for 2008 is in doubt after he had surgery in May to repair tears in both the labrum and rotator cuff in his right shoulder. It's thought he'll be ready for the start of spring training, but we have our doubts given the extensive damage to his shoulder. If healthy, he'll compete for a top set-up role to Joe Nathan, but it may take him awhile to get back to his 2006 form.
Crain rebounded from a rocky start to the season to reverse a downward trend in his strikeout rate and establish himself as a key set-up man again for the Twins. He had a 7.25 ERA through the first two months but recovered with a 1.93 mark after the All-Star break. Crain has a 96-mph fastball and strong slider that previously led to a strong strikeout rate before a sharp decline in 2005. Crain reversed that trend last season along with a strong 60:18 K:BB ratio. Expect another strong season as a result, but he may not get as many vulture wins as his 12 in 2005 since the set-up corps in front of Joe Nathan is four men deep.
Crain set an AL record for consecutive wins to start a career with 11 and finished with 12 wins and a 2.47 ERA. However, there is cause concern from his rookie stats. Crain struck out over a batter per inning during his minor league career due to his outstanding fastball. Last season he struck out just 25 in 79 2/3 innings. While he'll be a key set-up man for the Twins again this season and could post solid win totals again, make sure he returns to striking out more batters or he could be due for a slump.
The 2002 second-round draft pick rose quickly through the Twins system and became a key set-up man for the Twins in the second half of last season. Once thought of as the closer of the future, his fantasy luster will dim a bit with Joe Nathan establishing himself as the Twins fireman, but he should be one of the team's top setup men. Crain struck out more than a batter per inning in his minor league career with his 96 mph fastball and strong slider. While his control suffered a bit in the majors with just a 12/14 K/BB ratio, he showed a strong command of the strike zone in his minor league career (a 64/17 K/BB ratio last year in Triple-A) and those numbers should improve. He could be the pitcher who takes over at closer if Nathan struggles or is hurt.
Crain could have a prominent role in the Minnesota bullpen this season and could even fall into a few save opportunities. The 2002 second-round draft pick was a two-way star in college but concentrated on pitching his first two professional seasons. He rose quickly in 2003 through three minor-league levels and was dominant at each stop with 114 Ks and just 25 walks in 84 innings overall. He also didn't allow a home run at any level last season. He'll be a nice bullpen sleeper or minor-league pick this spring.
Drafted in the second round of the 2002 draft. A two-way star in college, he'll concentrate on pitching. He's got 96+ MPH heat, but is a bit raw on the pitching skills.