Matt Crohan isnâ€™t a household name on the national scene and the Winthrop Eagles werenâ€™t a team that attracted a ton of attention in 2015, but if he can put together a big season in the coming year, both of those things could change.
A season ago, Crohan went 7-4 with a 3.05 ERA. In 76.2 innings of work, he struck out 87 and opposing batters hit just .220 against him. Just as impressive was his stuff, headlined by a fastball that regularly ran into the mid-90s.
All of this was enough for Crohan to earn his place on Collegiate Team USA over the summer, where he held his own on the same field with the very best from the SEC, Pac-12, and all of the other power conferences in college baseball. That only served to raise his draft profile, and in the fall, D1Baseball.com named him the 39th-best prospect in college baseball. More recently, Baseball American listed him 31st on their ranking of the best prospects in the nation.
The Eagles havenâ€™t had a pitcher with such high draft grades since Kevin Slowey ended up being a second-round pick more than a decade ago in 2005. Crohan will undoubtedly do his best to equal Slowey not only from a draft standpoint, but also in terms of what he did on the field to help his team, as Sloweyâ€™s 2005 squad went 44-22 and made their way into a regional.
He certainly has what it takes to achieve the former, and with the talent Winthrop has returning around Crohan, the latter is within reach as well.
Sam Kmiec, who was at times dominant in his own right as a starter last season, is back, as are top hitters Anthony Paulsen, Roger Gonzalez, Mark Lowrie, Tyler Asbill, and Babe Thomas.
If Crohan reaches his full potential inÂ 2016, and the team accomplishes what they set out to do, and you still arenâ€™t familiar with Crohanâ€™s work when itâ€™s all said and done, thatâ€™s on you.