Prep Baseball Report

Then & Now: Jimmy Crooks, Oklahoma

David Seifert
Director of College Scouting

THEN OCTOBER 28, 2017: Strong framed at 6-foot, 190-pounds. Crooks has an ultra quick exchange and is an accurate thrower with a short, quick arm stroke from back to front. His hands and feet sync up well, receives with soft hands. He posted a best POP time of 1.97 twice, with his others ranging from 2.0-2.09. His top velocity from the crouch was 80 mph. A left-handed hitter, Crooks was on the barrel throughout batting practice, showing good power to the pull side with natural lift. He has loose hands and easy rhythm, using a simple leg kick to engage his lower half and transfer through contact with an exit velocity of 85 mph.

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NOW APRIL 2, 2022: Strong and mature bodied at 6-foot, 215 pounds, Crooks has always thrown well with plus arm strength and above average POP times. He keeps it simple with short footwork leading to a quick release. He slows the running game with consistent POP times in the low-1.9s. During the Texas series Crooks was 1-for-3 throwing out runners and is now 3-for-14 on the season. He also blocks softly, redirects out in front of home plate and receives well. At the plate the left handed hitter has more bat strength than bat speed for above average raw power. Last season he got to that power, belting 18 doubles, 10 home runs and a .502 SLG%. This season he has only homered once, but the power is still obvious to his pull side during batting practice. Although Crooks was just 2-for-12 at the plate for the series, he showed strong in-game bat to ball skills, as well as solid plate discipline. He’s currently hitting .303 with 17 walks and 22 strikeouts. A below average runner, but one with good instincts, Crooks has stolen five bases in seven attempts this season. College catchers with strong defensive skills, plus arm strength and a chance to hit are not the most common in the draft. Each draft is different with its strengths and weaknesses, but typically the draft favors offense over defense when selecting college backstops. The only two college catchers who were selected in rounds 2-4 last summer were Adrian Del Castillo (Miami) and Hunter Goodman (Memphis). Both were seen as offense-first prospects with a less than average chance of staying behind the plate at the pro level. With continued strong performance expect Crooks to be considered in the top four rounds this summer.

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