This summer, we here at FishStripes are doing our best to bring you the best in Marlins’ minor league coverage. Part of that coverage is in trying to get to know some of our more promising prospects. Today I had the pleasure in asking new prospect Karl Craigie a few questions via Twitter.
Craigie is a 6’1”, 215 lb. left handed pitcher out of the University of Texas in San Antonio. He was picked up in the 34th round of the draft last month with the 1,019th overall pick, but we’re of the opinion that we may have stumbled into a bargain.
In 2016, as a starter/reliever, Craigie posted a 3-2 record and a 5.11 ERA in 56.1 innings of work, starting 11 times and appearing seven times in relief. A permanent move to the bullpen in 2017 precipitated a sharp improvement in his basic metrics, as evidenced by his 7-1 record, his 2.66 ERA in 26 games, and a marked decrease in his hits allowed per nine innings, from 10.9 to 7.8. Here’s some highlights from his Sophomore season at Ranger College:
Since joining the GCL Marlins, Craigie has gotten himself into a pair of games. He earned his first professional win in his first game, on June 27th, and has allowed one earned run while striking out two in his first 2 2⁄3 innings of work. I had a few questions for him.
Kevin: What led to your decision to start playing baseball in the first place?
Karl Craigie: I just fell in love with the game at an early age. I grew up playing a variety of sports....baseball, football, basketball, swim team. Baseball won me over and is what I decided that I wanted to pursue to play in college.
Kevin: Baseball is by far my favorite too. One of the things that led me to it was the influence that it has with the younger generation. Were there coaches or others at different levels who were particularly influential in your development?
Karl: Of course, baseball has allowed me to cross paths with some of the greatest mentors and people that I know. Three names I can think of right away that helped me become a better player and person are Steve Graff (summer coach), Shawn Mikeska (summer coach), and Josh Blakley (junior college coach). All three of those men helped develop me on and off the field between high school and now. There are definitely others that have helped influence my development but those are the three that come to mind first.
Kevin: Thanks for the in-depth answer! Ok, last question. You weren’t always a reliever, but since getting into that role your effectiveness has increased accordingly. Most notably, your ERA as a reliever was just half of your ERA as a starter in college. So, picture this:
It’s September, 2020, and you’re getting your first look with the Marlins. Would you prefer to make your debut as a starter or as a reliever: Follow on question: Do you think you’d be well suited as a closer/setup guy?
Karl: I’ve learned to embrace whatever role is put in front of me. My senior season I was asked to move to the bullpen and I learned to love pitching in high pressure situations.
I do think coming out of the bullpen is my personal favorite. The instant adrenaline of having to come in with runners on is something that I fed off of. However, I thing I can adapt to whatever role that I’m asked to do. Of course in college I thrived at getting to the team to the ninth and passing the ball off to our closer, Chris Muller (now part of the Tampa Bay Rays organization). My dream has always been playing in “The Show,” so whatever role asked of me to fill, would be fine with me.
Kevin: Thank you, Karl, and good luck this year!
Karl: Not a problem, thank you. Happy 4th of July!
Karl and the rest of the GCL Marlins had off today to celebrate the U.S.’s independence, but will be back in action tomorrow at noon against the GCL Cardinals.