In this ongoing series that will last most of spring training, we’re going to look at each player that will be in Major League camp with the Cincinnati Reds. Each post will have some information on the player. There will be some background information, profiling, projections, and more. To see all of the posts in the series, you can click here. Today we are going to look at relief pitcher Ian Krol.
Ian Krol’s Background
Acquired: Originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2009 draft by the Athletics. Signed by the Reds in January 2019.
Height/Weight: 6′ 1″ / 210 lbs.
Years of MLB Experience: Six
Ian Krol went to high school at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Illinois. He was drafted out of the school in 2009. Until 2018 he was the only graduate of the school to reach the Majors, but Mike Gerber joined him last season. It took him several years of working his way up through the minors, but he made his debut at 22-years-old in 2013 and has pitched in the Major Leagues in every season since.
Ian Krol’s 2018 Season
For the first time since 2012, Ian Krol spent a majority of his playing season in the minors. He made just one appearance in the Major Leagues with the Angels. He threw 2.0 shutout innings with a walk and two strikeouts. The rest of his season was spent in Triple-A. He pitched in Salt Lake with the Angels, posting a 1.71 ERA in 21.0 innings with 9 walks and 20 strikeouts. He was designated for assignment in late May and declared a free agent. The Mets swooped in and signed him and assigned him to their Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas. That’s where he spent the rest of his season, posting a 3.31 ERA in 35.1 innings with 17 walks and 39 strikeouts. Between his two Triple-A stops he combined for a 2.72 ERA in 56.1 innings with 26 walks and 59 strikeouts.
Ian Krol’s Playing History
Ian Krol was drafted as an 18-year-old out of high school and began his playing career in rookie ball with Oakland. He worked his way up rather quickly as a starting pitcher, but transitioned to the bullpen when he reached Double-A in 2012 as a 21-year-old. The next year he was pitching in the Major Leagues with the Nationals. Strangely enough, he split time between the Majors and minors over the next four years – but in his fifth year, 2017, he only pitched five innings in the minors despite an ERA north of 5.00 for the Braves in 49.0 innings that season. As noted above, he only threw in one Major League game in 2018.
Projecting Ian Krol for 2019
The left-handed pitcher has been in the Major Leagues, at least in part, for each of the last six seasons. Steamer didn’t project him, likely because of his one appearance last season. The other two systems, though, project him to be roughly league average in the 2019 season.
How could Ian Krol fit in Cincinnati in 2019?
Left-handed relievers always seem to be able to find a way onto a big league roster. Being able to match up against like-handed hitters is a trait that every team is searching for. Krol has performed better against lefties than righties in his career in the Major Leagues. With that said, they have hit .278/.346/.411 against him in that time, so he’s hardly dominated. He’s not likely to be the favorite as a lefty reliever, but injuries or a lack of performance would put him on a short list of potential call ups from Triple-A.