Florida State baseball is building a stable of power arms. Mike Martin Jr. and Jimmy Belanger expected to bring in a good group of arms in their 2020 recruiting class, but they didn’t expect them to be as good as they were this past fall. The most surprising arm was Wyatt Crowell.
Belanger described Crowell’s game with one word: “Power.” But that power wasn’t something that Belanger expected out of Crowell so soon. When I asked Belanger if he expected Crowell to be a power pitcher when he stepped on campus, he laughed and said, “No, not at all.”
Belanger saw the Georgia native throw in his junior year of high school. His fastball sat 87-88 MPH. In the fall, he sat 92-95 with his fastball. From day one at Florida State, Crowell wowed the pitching coach. “When he came out that first day and he’s throwing the ball 94-95 in a live AB, that was kind of eye-opening for sure,” Belanger said.
Coming out of West Forsyth high school in Georgia, Crowell was rated the sixth LHP in the state and the 454th overall player in the class. In high school, he sat mostly in the high 80’s with his fastball. The power wasn’t the name of his game in high school, but rather deception.
Working from a smaller frame, standing at just 5’11 and 195 pounds, he creates deception from a cross fire delivery and a low 3⁄4 arm slot. He keeps hitters off balance with an above average breaking ball, something he’s always possessed in his arsenal. On the breaking ball, Belanger said, “ He always spun a breaking ball. He can always spin it. It’s a hard, low-80s breaking ball that’s got really good action to it.”
The next step for Crowell will be developing his third pitch, the changeup. The combo of the 92-95 MPH fastball and tight slider will make the southpaw an impact arm early in his career. The low slot and cross-fire delivery will make him a near impossible matchup for left-handed hitters. If he can develop that third pitch quickly, it will help him become more efficient and even more effective against right-handed hitters.
The freshman has a good chance to see lots of innings as a freshman. He is likely in the mix for the weekend rotation, but with such a deep staff, he’ll likely find himself in an important role out of the pen. Martin Jr. wants power in the seventh through ninth innings out of his bullpen. I’d expect Crowell to get many key matchups against left-handed hitters late in games during his freshman season.