Matt Krook's breakout performance on Wednesday night in Modesto featured the best of the one pitch that has managed to turn a potentially disastrous season into the revival of a highly-ranked prospect.
Krook's 95 pitches in 5.2 innings consisted of 92 that were either a low-90s sinker or a high-80s slider. Roughly 65 percent were sinkers and 35 percent were sliders, with exactly three high-70s curveballs thrown in for good measure. What transpired was a masterful display of sinker/slider placement low in the zone that forced 18 swing throughs, nine ground balls, and eight strikeouts.
Take a look at the drop on Krook's sinker — a relatively new dominant pitch for him.
College Krook's arsenal saw the curveball on display far more often, as well as a higher velocity fastball that dove at times, but had nowhere near the bottoming out you see in the video above.
Noteworthy that eight of Modesto's nine hitters were right-handers and all eight strikeouts were of righties. The only two non-ground balls in the game were the two line drive singles Krook allowed. Zero fly balls, zero pop ups. And the only out recorded that wasn't a ground ball or a strikeout was Ronnie Jebavy's outfield assist on hit number one of the game for the Nuts.
It really has been a tale of two halves of the current season for Krook. His first six starts looked all too familiar. He had totaled more walks (27) than strikeouts (22) in only 17.2 innings. That's an insanely high 26.2% walk rate. His rate last season with Salem-Keizer wasn't quite that high, but still bad at 19.0%. In his last five starts, he's allowed walks at a 9.5% rate and struck out hitters three percent more often.
And in terms of opposing hitter's OPS, the first six outings saw a .952 mark, compared to a .535 mark in the last five outings.
Bonus footage! Heath Quinn hit his eighth home run in his first 108 plate appearances with San Jose, taking this high fastball and tomahawking a very high drive down the left field line.
— Ryder Jones homered for the eighth time this year, as well, raising his organizational-leading wRC+ to 134. Overall, he's been seeing the ball exceptionally well over his last 103 plate appearances, drawing walks at 14.6% clip and hitting for a .274 average with a .309 ISO. He's become one of the best all-around hitters in the Pacific Coast League, currently sitting at 12th in wRC+, 13th in OPS, 16th in BB%, and 17th in ISO.
— Bryan Reynolds is still hot. He picked up two more hits, including a double, to make it 40 in his last 26 games. Over the stretch, 115 plate appearances, he's slashing .367/.386/.541 and is striking out 17.4 percent of the time.
- Sacramento: Joan Gregorio (3.26 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)
- Richmond (1): Cory Taylor (4.80 ERA, 1.54 WHIP)
- Richmond (2): Matt Gage (3.70 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)
- San Jose: Grant Watson (7.88 ERA, 2.13 WHIP)
- Augusta: Domenic Mazza (3.98 ERA, 1.23 WHIP)
- Salem-Keizer: Stetson Woods
TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP
- Tyler Beede: DNP
- Christian Arroyo: 0-for-1
- Bryan Reynolds: 2-for-4, 2B
- Steven Duggar: DNP
- Chris Shaw: 1-for-4, R
- Sandro Fabian: DNP
- Heath Quinn: 1-for-3, R, HR, BB, 2 SO
- Joan Gregorio: DNP
- Jordan Johnson: DNP
- Andrew Suarez: DNP
- Sam Coonrod: DNP
- Matt Krook: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 K
- Aramis Garcia: 1-for-4, SO
- C.J. Hinojosa: DNP
- Reyes Moronta: DNP
- Rodolfo Martinez: DNP
- Austin Slater: DNP
- Kelvin Beltre: 0-for-2, 2 BB
- Dan Slania: DNP
- Cory Taylor: DNP
- Chris Stratton: 7 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K
- Chase Johnson: DNP
- Jalen Miller: 0-for-3, R, BB
- Melvin Adon: DNP
- Garrett Williams: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 1 K
- Dylan Davis: 0-for-3, 2 SO
- Ryder Jones: 1-for-4, R, HR, SO
- Hunter Cole: DNP
- Miguel Gomez: DNP
- Ryan Howard: 2-for-5, SO