Looking Back at Michael Crotta

Crotta had a strong debut on Sunday.

I’ve been running this site for a little over two years now.  In those two years, I’ve seen guys in minor league games who have gone on to make the majors.  Pedro Alvarez is one example, as I watched him when he started his career in Lynchburg, to the point where he cracked the majors last June.  Even when Alvarez was in Lynchburg, and even though he struggled at the level, you knew he was going to end up in the majors.  Alex Presley was probably the first player I followed closely over the last two years who has made the majors, although he was kind of a surprise.

Then there’s Michael Crotta.  I first saw Crotta last April, almost a year ago.  You can check out the video of that outing here.  Going in to the 2010 season, I saw Crotta as a potential sleeper prospect, likely to be a future middle reliever.  That outing was very impressive, with Crotta taking a no hitter late in to the game, but not getting much help from his offense.  It was only a matter of time before he moved up to AAA.

Crotta wasn’t exactly lights out in AAA.  He ended up with a 4.93 ERA in 131.1 innings, along with a 6.1 K/9 and a 2.5 BB/9 ratio.  His outing yesterday, on the other hand, was lights out, with Crotta displaying a nice sinker and getting an easy one-two-three inning.  Here is what we had to say about Crotta in the 2011 Prospect Guide:

Crotta is a heavy ground ball pitcher, due to his sinker ball, and throws a 90-93 MPH fastball. He’s been hit hard as a starter, although he usually gets off to a good start early in the game. His future will likely be as a solid middle reliever who can provide the occasional start. That could be as soon as the 2011 season, as he should be forced in to relief at AAA to start the season, and could be an option for the Pirates at some point during the year.

Crotta managed to make the Opening Day roster, and while one outing doesn’t make a career, it certainly got him off to a good start to fulfilling that strong middle relief role.  I’m not really changing my view on him, despite the strong outing, mostly because he always started out strong, as I mentioned in the Prospect Guide.  Just consider that before the “when will Crotta become a starter?” campaign begins.

To do a little self promotion, we follow every player in the system, and provide reports on the future of all of those players.  The 2011 Prospect Guide and the 2011 Annual provide the most in-depth coverage of the team you can find, and we offer you the chance to buy them both together at a discount.  All proceeds help expand the coverage of the site.  That was first displayed with the Spring Training coverage from last week.  It will continue over the next month with the following schedule:

April 5th – West Virginia Power media day

April 8th-10th – Rice at East Carolina University (Anthony Rendon coverage)

April 21st-23rd – Altoona at Richmond

May 7th-8th – Altoona at Richmond

I’ll be going to West Virginia tomorrow for their media day, where I will be talking with players and coaches at the level about the 2011 season.  Then, this weekend, I’ll get a look at Anthony Rendon, with video, reports from all three games, and hopefully an interview.  I’ll be covering Altoona for five games over the following weeks as they travel down to Richmond.  I’m also hoping to catch West Virginia at some point early in the season, and I’m aiming to be at Jameson Taillon’s first pro start, assuming that game is played at home.  I’ll also be covering games in Altoona and State College throughout the year.

Again, all of this coverage is made possible by the proceeds from the books.  To support the site, expand the coverage, and get the best information on the entire system, order the 2011 Prospect Guide and the 2011 Annual today.

Share This Article

Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Could the Pirates Start Trading Prospects Soon?

Next Story »

2011 Prospect Watching: Thomas, Gallagher, Yates

  • Anonymous

    PLZ. buy this guide; I’ve picked it up already and it is as grand as the Prospect’s daily entries. Your writing and knowledge is first rate Tim; I really appreciate your pieces and have come to look forward to them.

Latest Analysis

  • Austin Meadows

    Austin Meadows Lowered His Hand Position to Add More Power

    16 hours ago

    Ever since he was drafted, Austin Meadows was regarded as a prospect with power that you could dream about. He drew comps to Jay Bruce in the ...

    Read More
  • Tarpley Brault

    Will the Snider Trade Result in the Pirates Finally Having a Left-Handed Starting Prospect?

    1 day ago

    Despite adding plenty of pitching through the draft over the last several years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been short on the amount of quality left-handed pitching in their ...

    Read More
  • Connor Joe 2

    Meet Connor Joe: The First Round Pick You Know Nothing About

    2 days ago

    This site is now in its seventh year of existence. For the last four years, I’ve been doing this full-time, allowing me to see every affiliate throughout the year, along ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    What is the Difference Between Mel Rojas and Keon Broxton?

    2 days ago

    Mel Rojas Jr. was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round of the 2010 MLB draft. The son of the former big league closer had ...

    Read More
  • Jose Tabata

    The Details of Jose Tabata’s New Swing

    4 days ago

    On Friday I wrote about how Jose Tabata talked to Marlon Byrd over the off-season, aimed at changing his swing to add some leverage, lift the ball, ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    What Led to Keon Broxton’s Breakout Year in Altoona?

    5 days ago

    Keon Broxton used to be one of the top prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system. Baseball America ranked him as high as tenth in the system ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles