Taking a pitcher in the first round is something very familiar to the Washington Nationals. The Nats - and before them, the Expos - had made pitchers their first pick in nine of the past twelve drafts, including Ross Detwiler and Josh Smoker in the past two drafts. The trend continued when they grabbed right-hander Aaron Crow out of the University of Missouri with the ninth overall pick in the draft. With the season over for Missouri, Crow hopes to sign quickly with the Nationals and start his pro career. "I hope to start playing very soon," Crow told ESPN immediately after being drafted.
Repertoire: As he stands now, Crow has three quality pitches, including a mid-90s fastball that has some movement through the strike zone. He's also developed a good, hard slider that clocks in the mid-to-upper 80s and also has good movement. Both pitches are complimented by a change-up that keeps hitters off balance and Crow has good command of all his pitches, but he's most reliable with his fastball.
Pitching Style: Crow doesn't like to waste time or pitches on the mound and tends to go right after hitters. He's got the tools to get them out and mixes his pitches well, but looks most comfortable with his fastball and slider combination. His mechanics are good and he's got an easy and poised look on the mound. He's somewhat deceiving in that his pitches appear even faster than they actually are, thanks to the late explosion that he gets on his pitches. Crow generally pitches deep into starts and maintains velocity and movement throughout.
Projection: It figures that Crow will move pretty quickly and could find himself very near the top of the rotation once he settles into the Majors. Scouts believe that he may have the best pure stuff and the best arm in the draft, especially among the college pitchers that are available.