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Hans Crouse promoted from Spokane Indians to Low-A Hickory

UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 8, 2018, 5:23 p.m.

Spokane Indians pitcher Hans Crouse, left, uses a four-pitch arsenal to get Northwest League batters out. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane Indians pitcher Hans Crouse, left, uses a four-pitch arsenal to get Northwest League batters out. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

The Texas Rangers, parent club of the Spokane Indians, will promote right-handed starter Hans Crouse to Low-A Hickory, where he will start on Saturday, according to multiple reports.

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram also reported that right-handed starter Yerry Rodriguez will be promoted from the Rangers rookie-level Arizona League team to Spokane.

Neither the Rangers or the Indians have issued a release.

Crouse tossed a hitless, scoreless inning with a pair of strikeouts in the Northwest League-Pioneer League All-Star Game on Tuesday.

Crouse, 19, was the Rangers second-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft and is ranked No. 5 by MLB.com among Rangers top prospects. He started eight games with the Indians this summer, going 5-1 with a 2.37 ERA (10 earned runs) and 0.70 WHIP with 47 strikeouts and 11 walks over 38 innings.

He pitched for the Rangers AZL team last season and allowed one earned run over 20 innings (0.45 ERA) with 30 strikeouts.

“Hans is a special kid, on and off the field,” Rangers assistant director for player development Paul Kruger said last week. “You see the emotion every night here. And it’s positive emotion. It’s excitement. It’s competitive.”

Kruger said the atmosphere in Spokane was one of the reasons Crouse was assigned to the Indians. It’s allowed Crouse to not only dominate with his mid-to-upper 90s fastball, but hone his two breaking balls and developing changeup.

“The changeup is something (Crouse) has really been working on lately,” Kruger said. “Throw it. Throw it in games where you know you can at times overpower hitters with your fastball. You’ve got an above-average breaking ball, but can you work on your changeup?

“The work that (manager) Kenny (Holmberg) and Jono Armold , our pitching coach have done has been tremendous,” Kruger said. “I think (Crouse’s) future is really bright as a front-end type of guy for the organization.”

Rodriguez, 20, is from the Dominican Republic. In eight games and six starts with the Rangers AZL team this summer, he went 2-2 with a 3.52 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with 55 strikeouts and three walks over 38 1/3 innings.

Rodriguez is the Rangers’ No. 30 prospect according to MLB.com. He throws a 91-94 MPH fastball that reaches 96 with a sweeping slider and changeup.

Rodriguez missed almost all of the 2017 campaign due to an 80-game suspension for violating MLB’s performance enhancing drug policy.

The Indians return from the all-star break at Boise on Thursday at 6:15 p.m.


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