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2021 report card: Hans Crouse

The 23-year-old right-handed pitching prospect quickly became a fan favorite because... moustache?

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Miami Marlins
The Mandela effect is a phenomenon in which a person or a group of people hold the false memory that Hans Crouse had a moustache when he pitched for the Phillies.
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Hans Crouse came over to the Phillies on July 30 as part of the Kyle Gibson/Ian Kennedy/Spencer Howard trade. He quickly became a fan favorite (at least on my Twitter feed) for several reasons, including the moustache/mullet/neck tattoo look he’s rocking in his headshot, the dearth of major league-ready pitching talent in the Phillies farm system, and the need for something to get excited about after a lacklustre trade deadline in which the Phillies sold low on a former top prospect.

There’s also his name, which calls to mind iconic villains like Hans Gruber of Die Hard and Jerry Krause of the 1990s Chicago Bulls.

However, Crouse really isn’t the kind of prospect we should be getting that excited about. Here’s what Matt Winkelman, who ranked Crouse ninth on his “near end of season” prospect list, had to say about the young right-hander.

I don’t mean to ruin the fun. I love Hans Crouse as much as anybody. (I even wrote a 2000 word fan fiction style recap of his major league debut.) I just worry that if we all get too excited about Crouse, he won’t be able to live up to the hype. I’m excited to see how he’ll contribute in 2022, but I’m trying to keep my expectations low.

2021 Stats

2 starts, 7 IP, 4 ER, 2 HR, 2 K, 7 BB, 5.14 ERA

The good

Hans Crouse was perfectly competent in his two starts for the Phillies. His first start was particularly impressive, considering his call-up was a surprise and he suddenly found himself starting a must-win game in a late-September pennant race. He kept the Phillies in the game, going 3 innings and allowing just 1 run.

The bad

Crouse pitched only 7 innings as a surprise late-season call-up, so there really isn’t much point in talking about the negatives. But for what it’s worth, he walked 7 batters in those 7 innings and allowed as many home runs as strikeouts he recorded (2 of each). In other words, while Crouse did a fine job in his brief cup of coffee with the Phillies, his performance wasn’t anything to write home about either.

The future

Hans Crouse is playing in the Arizona Fall League, where he’ll be getting more work in as a starter. While he certainly won’t be in the Phillies rotation to start the 2022 season, he should be one of the first starters called upon in case of injury. He could also see time in the Phillies bullpen depending on how things go, but the team will almost certainly want to keep him stretched out as a starter for now.

Final grade: Incomplete

Crouse simply did not pitch enough innings to merit a final grade. Let’s just say he got a crocodile in spelling and leave it at that.