Crook County at Crescent Valley

Dan Jurik
Scouting Director - Pacific Northwest

Crescent Valley, OR - This past week we were able to get extended coverage in Oregon for the first time this spring and check out multiple games across both the 5A and 6A levels. We started out by heading down to Crescent Valley HS for a 5A playoff match-up between the host Raiders and visiting Crook County Cowboys.

‘20 RHP and Oregon commit Taylor Holder got the ball for Crescent Valley and was stellar across 6 innings of work. After Crook County pushed across 2 runs in the first inning on a passed ball and seeing-eye double, Holder kept them off the board the rest of the way. Finished with a final line of 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 K.

Working from a high ¾ release, Holder established strikes early on with both his FB and breaking ball. FB sat 84-86 throughout and shows occasional cut action when he spots to his glove side. Cutting action comes as a result of some cross action in his stride at landing. Breaking ball has SL shape to it at 71-76. Understands how to manipulate the offering based on whether he wants to throw it for a strike or bury it when ahead in the count. Maintains FB angle out of hand and shows depth thru the zone. Shows poise/maturity on the mound. Keeps an even keel demeanor and has the ability to make adjustments from pitch-to-pitch. Throws with sustainable, starter-type effort in his delivery. Also worth noting that Holder stayed in the game after suffering a HBP to his earhole when he was up to bat early in the game. He really came onto the scene strong this spring and should continue to be a force on the mound next season as well.

On offense, the Raiders were paced by a 3 hit performance from ‘19 1B Ethan Krupp (Western Oregon commit). The smooth swinging lefty has a simple, balanced stroke and noticeable feel for the barrel.

Another '19 who showed well this game was C Ben Leid (Wenatchee Valley commit). Flashed pop times between 2.08 - 2.15 between innings, wasn’t tested in game. Also has the potential to hit for power down the road with the combination of his strong frame and uphill swing path. Lastly, uncommitted ‘20 OF/RHP Walker Riney showed off a versatile skill-set. Started the game in LF, displayed quality defensive actions in I/O and then came in to pitch the 7th inning. FB sat 77-81 and he paired it with a quality 11/5 CB at 65-67 

Opposing Holder on the bump for Crook County was ‘20 RHP/INF Kyle Knudtson. The uncommitted righty came out in the first inning and peppered the zone with FB’s at 83-85. Also flashed a CB with steep break at 71-75. Physically built at 6-foot, 195 pounds, Knudtson pitched from a quick, compact arm action with a short stride and upright delivery. The command wavered as he got deeper into his outing but better days are certainly ahead on the bump. Also flashed some ability with the bat on this look. Hitting from the left-side, showed a loose, handsy type swing and consistently worked inside of the ball. Moved to SS defensively after he was done on the mound. Intriguing 2-way prospect to keep an eye on heading into this summer.

With Holder being some dominant, it was tough to get a strong read on the hitters from Crook County. But 2 underclassmen who showed well during pre-game and have some athleticism in their game are ‘20 C Brody Connell and ‘20 1B Garrett Bernard. Showing quality catch and throw actions behind the dish, Connell is an athletic backstop who also has the advantage of being a switch-hitter. Bernard has the size for 1B and moved well around the bag. His offensive game should develop as he adds strength to his frame