Kyle Crick
26-Year-Old PitcherRP
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The best way to combat regression is with improving skills, which is exactly what Crick did last season. In 2018, his 3.06 ERA was considerably lower than the estimators, largely due to a fortunate .233 BABIP. Last season, Crick's BABIP corrected to .268 -- not out of line for what's expected from a flyball pitcher in a power-suppressing venue like PNC Park. An improved K% and BB% resulted in a solid 16.5 K-BB%, more than double 2017's 8.2 mark. Crick's actual 2.39 ERA was again significantly better than the corresponding 3.14 FIP and 4.00 xFIP, mostly due to a fortunate 80.5% left-on-base rate. Even if his ERA incurs a correction this season, he should still be useful in deep leagues using holds as the Pirates should again deploy him in high-leverage scenarios. Plus, this will be just his third season since making the conversion to relief, so Crick could improve further if he deploys his 96-mph fastball/82-mph slider combo more effectively. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year contract with the Pirates in March of 2018.
Likely to protect leads again
PPittsburgh Pirates
February 21, 2019
Crick is expected to continue in his role as a setup man entering the 2019 campaign, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
The 26-year-old saw his most extensive major league action last season, compiling a 2.39 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 65:23 K:BB in 60.1 innings. Slotted behind closer Felipe Vazquez and Keone Kela, Crick figures to help fantasy owners with holds -- he accumulated 17 holds in 2018. The hard-throwing righty has struggled with his control throughout the minors (6.0 BB/9), but nearly cut that total in half (3.4 BB/9) with Pittsburgh.
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Pitching Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
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BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .245 172 29 14 38 3 1 2
Since 2016vs Right .159 216 64 26 29 6 1 3
2018vs Left .257 119 25 11 27 3 0 2
2018vs Right .154 135 40 12 18 4 0 1
2017vs Left .220 53 4 3 11 0 1 0
2017vs Right .169 81 24 14 11 2 1 2
2016vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
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Since 2016Home 2.45 1.15 51.1 2 1 1 8.2 3.3 0.9
Since 2016Away 2.83 1.16 41.1 1 1 1 10.0 4.6 0.0
2018Home 2.18 1.09 33.0 2 1 1 8.5 2.5 0.8
2018Away 2.63 1.17 27.1 1 1 1 11.2 4.6 0.0
2017Home 2.95 1.25 18.1 0 0 0 7.9 4.9 1.0
2017Away 3.21 1.14 14.0 0 0 0 7.7 4.5 0.0
2016Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Stat Review
How does Kyle Crick compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
95.9 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
On the surface, it looks like Crick's conversion to the bullpen was a success. However, a closer look suggests the transformation isn't complete. His 3.06 ERA was considerably lower then his 3.90 FIP and 5.30 xFIP. The same issue plaguing Crick as a starter -- walks -- persisted in his 32.1 innings of relief last season. This was masked by a .233 BABIP that should regress in a larger sample. Further, Crick only fanned 28 in that span, compared to 17 walks. Crick's minor-league history portends a higher strikeout rate, including 39 in 29.1 frames for Triple-A Sacramento before he was called up on June 22. With a fastball averaging 96 mph, Crick has the stuff to be a high-leverage reliever, perhaps even with ninth-inning duties. However, until he gets the free passes under control, he's just a flier in the deepest of leagues.
The Giants ditched their project of trying to turn Crick into a reliever and used him as a starter in all 23 of his appearances for Double-A Richmond last season. The former first-round pick has been generally considered a bust as he's failed to control his electric stuff in the minors, posting a rate of 5.1 BB/9 or higher in all six of his minor league seasons. With a strikeout rate of 7.1 K/9 in 2016 (well below his usual double-digit marks), it appeared that Crick was trying to dial back his pitches in an effort to limit the free passes, but that approach proved unsuccessful as he still issued 67 walks in 109 innings. Despite his continued failures, the righty will only be 24 years old to begin the 2017 season, and the Giants are hoping he can figure things out down the road.
Things have gone from bad to worse with the Giants' former top pitching prospect. Control issues continue to plague the hard-throwing righty. While his 3.29 ERA and 10.4 K/9 are positives, they came at the expense of a horrid 9.4 BB/9 (a rate that has risen over the past three seasons). It got so bad that the Giants decided to give up on trying to make him a big league starter, moving him to the bullpen in an effort to salvage his career as a late-inning reliever. That didn't help matters as Crick posted a 3.92 ERA and an 11.8 BB/9 in 20.2 innings as a reliever. He still has the stuff so there is always a chance he figures out his control issues at some point, but right now, it is looking like Crick will turn out to be a bust. Given the way his career is trending, the Giants' plan to have him make his major league debut in 2016 is looking like a long shot. Crick will try to figure out his issues in the minors to start the year.
At this point, it’s surprising minor-league hitters ever take the bat off their shoulder against Crick. Since he was drafted in 2011, strikeouts and walks have accounted for 41 to 48% of the hitters he has faced, and while evaluators can’t help but take notice of his strikeout-inducing stuff, he has yet to improve his walk rate. In fact, the 15.3% walk rate he posted as a 21-year-old at Double-A Richmond in 2014 was his highest mark in three years of full-season ball. Of the ten highest walk rates among MLB pitchers who pitched 60-plus innings last season, only four (Daisuke Matsuzaka, Ubaldo Jimenez, Tony Cingrani and Francisco Liriano) belonged to pitchers who started a game, and none approached Crick’s mark. At this point, it may be wise to view "2016 Giants closer" as his new ceiling.
Arguably the Giants' top prospect, Crick held true to that title in 2013, posting a 1.57 ERA (2.37 FIP) with an impressive 12.5 K/9 in 68.2 innings with High-A San Jose. He did have an issue with his control (5.1 BB/9), and that is something he will have to fix before making it to the majors, even if it means taking a little bit off his stuff and taking a slight cut in his strikeout rate. Crick should start the year at Double-A Richmond with a chance for a September callup if he continues to dominate minor league hitters.
Crick was the Giants' first-round pick in 2011, and he had a successful season in Low-A Augusta with a 2.51 ERA (3.15 FIP). The 20-year-old right-hander features a fastball that averages 92-94 mph and can touch 98 mph along with a slider, curveball and changeup. Scouts have said all of his secondary pitches need some work, and his control has been an issue (5.4 BB/9). Despite being raw, his potential is off the charts as his fastball has the ability to miss bats (10.4 K/9). Crick looks to be headed to High-A for 2013, and could reach the majors by 2015 is he can improve his control.
More Fantasy News
Strong season continues
PPittsburgh Pirates
September 23, 2018
Cricked pitched a scoreless eighth inning Saturday, earning his 17th hold of the season.
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Delivers clean inning Sunday
PPittsburgh Pirates
August 28, 2018
Crick (back) struck out a batter as part of a scoreless inning Sunday in the Pirates' 7-4 loss to the Brewers.
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Lingering back pain
PPittsburgh Pirates
August 24, 2018
Crick was not available for Friday night's epic extra-inning loss against the Brewers due to lingering back pain, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic Pittsburgh reports.
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Slams door for second save
PPittsburgh Pirates
July 13, 2018
Crick tossed a scoreless 1.1 innings while allowing two hits and striking out one as he picked up the save Friday against Milwaukee.
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Exceeding expectations
PPittsburgh Pirates
July 12, 2018
Crick threw a scoreless eighth inning in Wednesday's 2-0 win over Washington.
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