KEVIN KRAUSE, CORNER OUTFIELDER
|Born: November 23, 1992
Drafted: 9th Round, 281st Overall, 2014
How Acquired: Draft
College: SUNY Stony Brook
WTM’S PLAYER PROFILE
|The Pirates took Krause in the ninth round of the 2014 draft, the second catcher they chose on day two of the draft. Baseball America rated him 298th overall and he was rated by multiple sources just below that, so he profiled as a ninth round pick. After missing time during his sophomore season at Stony Brook due to a broken hamate bone, he won the American East Conference player of the year award as a junior. As a catcher, he is fairly raw and will need time to develop. Krause made just one error during his junior season and none as a sophomore. He has also played some outfield, but has said he prefers to stay behind the plate. He runs well for a catcher and has an average arm, and displays athleticism behind the plate. Krause profiles as a slightly below average hitter, with a chance to hit for some power. He went undrafted out of high school and said he was hoping to go in the top ten rounds this year and was eager to start his minor league career. He signed a week and a half after the draft for the slot amount of $143,600.
Krause had a strong debut, hitting for a lot of power, although the K rate is a concern. He even showed some speed. He shared catching duties with Taylor Gushue and, oddly, Deybi Garcia, and threw out 16% of base stealers. Krause missed the majority of August with an injury.
Krause was expected to go to West Virginia, where he was slated to spend time in right as well as behind the plate, but the start of his season was delayed due to a sore elbow. He eventually was diagnosed with a partial UCL tear, which he chose to have treated with platelet rich plasma injections. The treatment was not successful and he had Tommy John surgery in June.
Krause was still recovering from the surgery at the beginning of the season. In fact, he wasn’t able to join a team until mid-June, when he joined Morgantown. The Pirates don’t appear to be sold on him as a catcher; he started 24 games in right, 17 behind the plate and 11 as DH. Of course, some of that may have resulted from the Tommy John surgery. He threw out only three of 30 base stealers. At the plate, Krause drew a huge number of walks while also cutting his K rate. He did not show the power he had in 2014, although scouts were impressed by the show he put on in batting practice at the NYPL All-Star game. The drop in power could be another temporary side effect of the surgery.
Krause had a rather odd season. The Pirates skipped him over low A and sent him to Bradenton, which was especially welcome because he played the season at age 24. He hit extremely well in the early going, but for some reason he didn’t play regularly. He got into only 13 games in April, often sitting while no-bat utility infielder Alfredo Reyes played in the outfield. Krause missed much of May with a hamstring injury. He then got into only 15 games in June before settling in to play regularly in July and August. Possibly he just wasn’t fully healthy in the early season. Krause wasn’t able to maintain his hot hitting after May, although he didn’t hit badly, as his monthly OPS shows:
On the season, Krause lit up LHPs, with an 1.128 OPS. He had only a .713 OPS against RHPs. He showed good plate discipline throughout. Krause spent most of his time in right field, where he’s probably no more than adequate. He appeared in a dozen games behind the plate and threw out two of nine base stealers.
Krause’s bat seems intriguing, especially considering that he has both power and good strike zone judgment. You’d think he’d have some chance of developing into a useful bench bat and platoon player. It’s not clear, though, whether the Pirates see it that way. He’ll be at Altoona in 2018, where he’ll play right field and a little behind the plate. There may not be a great deal of playing time available, though, with all the other outfielders available.
|2018: Minor League Contract
|Signing Bonus: $143,600
MiLB Debut: 2014
MiLB FA Eligible: 2020
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2017
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 6, 2014: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 9th round, 281st overall pick; signed on June 16.|