2. Matt Krook
Who? Matt Krook? Matt Krook? Am I hearing you right?
Yup! Matt Krook. Off the 40-man and into your hearts, he’s my off-the-wall pick for a prospect nobody’s talking about who could make noise this spring. Not in the same way that, say, Luis Medina makes noise by being glove-poppingly loud with his fastball, but in a slow and steady, professional manner.
Krook, a fourth-round pick out of Oregon by the Giants back in 2016, put up an impressive season in his first summer in pinstripes in 2021, but found his progress buried by several flashier stories. Across two levels (Double-A and Triple-A, two pitching hotbeds for this team), Krook allowed a minuscule 66 hits in 106 innings, allowing a .147 batting average against in Somerset and a .185 mark in Scranton.
Slinging it from the left side (again, what’d we tell you?), Krook isn’t the highest-ceiling option on the menu, but his numbers at the upper levels don’t lie, and he could theoretically make the leap from non-roster invitee to the mainstream.
Oh, and in case you wanted the story to be juicier, Krook was sent to the Tampa Bay Rays in the Evan Longoria trade, then toiled at Double-A for several seasons before finally making his first appearance at the minors’ highest level last year with the Yanks. How’d he get here? Stolen in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 prior to the 2021 campaign.
If we could simply … start Whitlocking the Rays and paying the favor forward, that would be absolutely great.