It may be sooner, rather than later, for Cleveland Indians prospect Trevor Crowe's major league debut.
With aging veteran David Dellucci experiencing a nagging calf injury, the Tribe may be calling on their top 2005 draft pick to fill in.
Crowe, with his ability to play all three outfield positions, switch hit, and run well would be a natural fit off of the bench for the Indians in 2009.
Being the 14th overall selection, Crowe was immediately put on a fast track to move on through the Indians organization. By the end of his first full professional season (2006), he had already logged 154 at-bats at Double-A Akron.
A myriad of injuries and bad luck, coupled with a failed change of position experiment (move to second base) seemed to derail his top prospect standing within the organization.
Hard nosed and the eternal fighter, Crowe quickly regained respect in the front office posting a solid 2008 campaign (.302, 41 extra base hits, 18 stolen bases) between Akron and Buffalo.
His career minor league on-base percentage is .361 and has steadily climbed over the past two seasons. The Indians feel that more pop in his bat will come in the future as he matures and learns the game.
His ability to drive the ball to both outfield gaps will ultimately be the deciding factor of whether Crowe is an everyday player or a fourth outfielder.
Some also that he may not have the range to play centerfield on a daily basis, but from what I have scene in person, Trevor is a tough, hard-nosed kid who could definitely handle the challenge. As the current roster is made up, the Indians really doesn't have a guy to fill in in center if Sizemore needs a day off, so Crowe would be the most logical choice.
Trevor Crowe came in to spring camp a man on a mission, impressing manager Eric Wedge along the way.
"Crowe played well enough to make the ballclub,'' Wedge said. ''He has every tool that you want to see in a young player. But there is no downside to sending him back, because it will help him fine-tune his game. When he comes up—and I think he will at some point in the season—he will be a better player." (ohio.com)
He hit .289 (13-for-45) with a homer, a triple, a double and three RBI, while going 6-for-6 in stolen-base attempts.
Crowe would also be a much needed steady outfield replacement for both Shin Soo Choo and Ben Francisco, if either struggles early on.
In his last game up with the big league club, Crowe slugged a long home run and a double, which impressed the front office.
His game reminds some of Arizona Diamondbacks' outfield Eric Byrnes, which would not be a bad thing at all.
Look for Crowe to make some type of impact in 2009 with a shot at an everyday spot in 2010.