Counting Crowe's: Big Numbers

Trevor Crowe had three more hits, including a grand slam, to help power the Akron Aeros to a 16-6 triumph over visiting Reading on Friday night. The outfielder is on one impressive hot streak, transcending what anybody could imagine. Not even the parent Cleveland Indians could have envisioned what Crowe has accomplished in the past 10 days when they made him their No. 1 draft pick in 2005.

The Indians did believe the switch-hitter had big-time potential and probably thought he may even be at the major-league level by this time. Injuries have held back his progress Since the calendar flipped to June, however, he's been unstoppable.

Friday, he went 3-for-5, scored four runs, drove in four with his third homer of the season, drew a walk and got his ninth stolen base of the season.

Over his last 10 games, Crowe has batted .523 (23-for-44) with three homers, 16 runs, 16 RBI, six doubles and three steals in three attempts.

After batting .143 (1-for-7) in the season's first two games, Crowe was sidelined for five weeks with soreness in his lower back. When he returned to the lineup in May, he hit only .157 (8-for-51) in 13 games.

Since June 1, however, he's hit .408 (40-for-98) with 10 doubles, three homers, 29 runs, 22 RBI and five steals in seven attempts in 23 games to lift his overall average to .314.

After his second pro season, when he batted .329 with 29 stolen bases in 60 games at Class A Kinston and earned a callup to Akron, Crowe looked like he was on the fast track to Cleveland. He suffered a sprained right ankle shortly after joining the Aeros and hit only .234 in 39 games.

He had a terrible first two months a year ago at Akron before getting hot in the second half. On June 25, his batting average was only .192. He hit .323 the rest of the way to finish at .359 with 28 steals, five homers and 50 RBI in 133 games.

"Show me a guy hitting under .200 three months into the season who says he is confident, and I will show you a liar," Crowe told Frank Derry of Indians Ink in our magazine's May cover story.

"I was pressing," Crowe said. "I was trying to do too much. Then I failed trying to make up for failing. Once you start compounding those things, you just dig yourself a deeper and deeper hole."

Ross Atkins, the Indians' minor-league director, told Derry the organization never lost faith in Crowe.

"He's definitely still one of our top prospects," Atkins said. "Last year was the first time baseball has ever been difficult for him. We may think higher of him than we did before because of the way he came back."

Now, the 24-year-old is rewarding their faith and renewing his career in a big way.
Crowe's hot streak has more than coincidentally gone hand-in-hand with Akron's rise in the standings. The Aeros have been one of the hottest teams in all of baseball, going 24-7 since May 27 for a 48-31 overall record and first place in the Southern Division.

Also Friday, Josh Rodriguez (.266) went 3-for-5 with a walk, with a walk, two runs and three RBI; Stephen Head (.313) was 3-for-5 with two runs, two RBI and his fifth homer; Jose Constanza (.284) was 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs, an RBI and his 15th stolen base as Akron totaled 19 hits.

Kevin Dixon (5-5, 4.66 ERA) struck out seven over six innings for the win. The right-hander allowed five runs (three earned).


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