Draft completes whirlwind for Crowe
Fighting for NCAA tourney life one day, drafted next
CLEVELAND -- Trevor Crowe has come to expect the question. So when he got it Tuesday afternoon, he was ready to take it head on.
"Everyone I talk to says, 'Are you related to Russell?'" said Trevor Crowe, laughing. "I say, 'No, but I wish.'"
Well, not really, because Trevor Crowe has plenty of reasons to be happy that he's not related to Russell Crowe. Trevor Crowe, a 22-year-old outfielder from the University of Arizona, has done just fine with his own lineage, and on a different stage, he has a chance to build a star's career of his own.
His stardom might come in baseball, and it could happen with the Indians. For Crowe found out Monday that they had him ranked high on their board for the First-Year Player Draft, and he found out Tuesday he would be their No. 1 choice.
"Right before they announced my name, the Indians general manager called my adviser and said, 'Hey, it looks like it's a done deal," Crowe said. "Then they announced it about 30 seconds later."
His selection, No. 14 overall, completed what had been a whirlwind two days -- days in which Crowe experienced both the highs and lows of life.
He knew the draft held great possibilities, but Crowe was focused Monday on the NCAA Tournament, where he and his Wildcat teammates had to beat Cal State-Fullerton to stay alive. They lost.
"We had our hopes up," he said. "We had a good team at the University of Arizona, and we were looking to go on and win that championship. ... When we didn't come out with it, it was such a big disappointment, 'cause you had 25 guys who worked so hard to accomplish one thing, which is winning a national championship.
"It's just an unbelievable low."
The emotional downs of that loss robbed Crowe of some of the high expectations of what Tuesday was supposed to hold. For him, it was seeing his junior season end in defeat that made everything else that might follow have a bittersweet taste to it.
And what will likely follow is wealth and a giant step toward a career in the Majors. It's almost a logical next step for Crowe after the kind of season he had with Arizona.
What more might he have to prove on that small stage?
In 60 games for the Wildcats, Crowe batted .403 with nine home runs and 54 RBIs. He owned an on-base percentage of .477 and a slugging percentage of .715. He also showed speed in stealing 27 bases in 33 attempts.
His play earned him selection as the 2005 Pacific-10 Conference Baseball Co-Player of the Year, and he is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, which goes to best player in college baseball.
During the regular season, he led the Pac-10 in batting (.421), slugging percentage (.745), hits (104), runs scored (81), doubles (25), triples (14), stolen bases (26) and total bases (184). He also was third in the conference in on-base percentage (.495), seventh in RBIs (54) and seventh in home runs.
Crowe, a switch hitter, set a conference record for the most triples in a season, and also set the Pac-10 record for the most triples in a career (25).
These statistics and his fiery play impressed a lot of teams. Most scouting boards had Crowe in the top 25 of prospects in the draft.
Position: OF B/T: S/R
H: 6'0" W: 190
Born: 1983-11-17 Class: 4YR
Medium-large, compact. Athletic frame. Developed lower half. Short, compact stroke. Sprays line drive to all fields. Aggressive, intense, gamer w/ plus baseball instincts.
So off to Arizona he went.
"At first, I was a little disappointed, and I really didn't know what to do," said Crowe, who played for Team USA last summer. "But once I got to college and I was there for a month or two, I kinda realized that, 'Hey, you know, this is the path for me, and I'm here for a reason, so let's just make the best three years of it we can.' "
And he did.
Now, he's facing a chance to go beyond the college game. He can take his first step toward his dream: playing in the bigs. Yet Crowe still has another year of college he can use if he and the Indians come to financial loggerheads.
While returning to college isn't his choice, it is an option.
"You just never know," Crowe said. "I'm glad I took care of my schoolwork, and I still have my eligibility and everything. But if you look at the percentages, the majority of first-round picks sign.
"I can't see myself doing anything other than that. But, on the other hand, you just have to keep the option there."
Justice B. Hill is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.