Blackburn, Crick end respective seasons on high notes

BOX SCORES: SAC / RIC / SJ

Two former teammates, and former highly-ranked prospects, capped off their 2016 seasons with scoreless efforts. Clayton Blackburn pitched eight innings for the Sacramento River Cats while allowing six hits and two walks, while Kyle Crick tossed six scoreless frames with four hits, two walks, and six strikeouts.

Blackburn, now ranked No. 14 by MLB Pipeline and No. 7 by Giant Potential, was once a consensus top-five pitcher in the organization. In the last few years, he's been surpassed by other more recently drafted talent. But Blackburn was coming off the heels of a 2015 campaign with the River Cats where he led the Pacific Coast League in ERA, and is still considered the one of the farm's most MLB ready starting pitchers.

Blackburn will end the year having made 23 starts, logging a career-high 136.1 innings, with a 4.36 ERA and 1.298 WHIP. Notable is that Blackburn, when pitching at home in 2016, has been a much more quality arm. In 13 starts, totaling 80.2 innings, Blackburn posted stellar numbers such as a 3.5 RA/9, .230 OBA, and 1.091 WHIP. When on the road, in high altitude places like Reno, Nev., Albuquerque, N.M., and Salt Lake City, Utah, Blackburn's sinker had a hard time sinking, and his numbers rose accordingly to 7.3 RA/9, .313 OBA, and 1.599 WHIP.

Blackburn, in 10 road starts, pitched at an elevation above 3,000 feet seven times.

Crick, on the other hand, has been an enigma ever since his breakout 2013 season with the San Jose Giants. He was unanimously labeled the Giants' No. 1 prospect, but after what will now be three straight confusing and struggle-filled seasons with the Richmond Flying Squirrels, he has fallen out of many lists' top-30. Though on Thursday, his 23rd start of the year, he left the game without a run to his name for just the third time all season, lowering his ERA to a final mark of 5.04 with a WHIP of 1.624. The issue, as it has been for a while with Crick, is his consistent walking of opposing hitters, though he did lower his BB/9 average from 9.4 in 2015 to 5.5 in 2016.

TOMORROW'S STARTERS


TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP

  1. Christian Arroyo: DNP
  2. Tyler Beede: DNP
  3. Chris Shaw: 0-for-3, BB, 2 SO
  4. Bryan Reynolds: DNP
  5. Sam Coonrod: DNP
  6. Aramis Garcia: DNP
  7. Joan Gregorio: DNP
  8. Andrew Suarez: DNP
  9. Jordan Johnson: DNP
  10. Steven Duggar: DNP
  11. Steven Okert: DNP
  12. Rodolfo Martinez: DNP
  13. C.J. Hinojosa: 0-for-3, 2 BB, SO
  14. Clayton Blackburn: 8 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K
  15. Jalen Miller: DNP
  16. Ray Black: DNP
  17. Dylan Davis: 0-for-3, SO
  18. Chase Johnson: DNP
  19. Heath Quinn: DNP
  20. Matt Krook: DNP
  21. Hunter Cole: 3-for-4, R, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI
  22. Austin Slater: DNP
  23. Ty Blach: DNP
  24. Reyes Moronta: DNP
  25. Kyle Crick: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K
  26. Chris Stratton: DNP
  27. Cory Taylor: DNP
  28. Ian Gardeck: DNP
  29. Ronnie Jebavy: 1-for-4, SO
  30. Gio Brusa: DNP

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