Prep arms are notoriously hard to project to the major leagues. The jump in competition from the high school level to the pros is vast; hitters, even in the lowest levels of the minors, have much greater understanding of the strike zone than any high school player. However, in every draft there are a few can’t-miss prep arms that teams will jump on, despite the risk. Hans Crouse projects to be one of those in 2017.
Hans Crouse 2017 MLB Draft Profile
Hans Crouse hails froms Dana Point, California, where he pitches for Dana Hills High School. Crouse is tall, at 6’4”, and weighs in at 185 pounds. He has room to grow and add muscle, which should help him maintain the fire he already throws. The 18-year-old bats lefty, but throws righty. Crouse was named a Rawlings-Perfect Game 2017 First-Team All-American, and a California All-Region First-Team member. He also received underclass first-team honors in 2015 and 2016.
Crouse has pitched 183.1 innings in his varsity career, to the tune of a 1.26 ERA, a .176 opponents batting average, 246 strikeouts, and just 61 walks. As a senior, he owns a 0.85 ERA, 91 strikeouts, and 14 walks in 57.1 innings. Crouse is committed to play for USC, but could go pro if drafted as high as he should be.
Hans Crouse’s calling card is his fastball, which sits in the mid-90s and can run up to 97 with good action. He mixes in an off-speed offering that can break all sorts of ways to throw hitters off. Crouse’s nasty arsenal, mixed with his fiery demeanor, make him someone most hitters would rather not face.
Crouse needs to develop his arsenal a bit more if he wants to remain a starter when he gets to the pros. There’s every reason to think he can do that, as his current offerings are well-developed. However, if he can’t he could be a bullpen arm down the road. Since relief pitching has never been more valuable in the majors than it is right now, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
Crouse also needs to refine his delivery and show that he can repeat it. That should come with time and training, and won’t be a real concern for most teams on draft day.