To get an idea about the kind of arm Baysox pitcher Dave Crouthers possesses, consider this: On Thursday, while most of Bowie's players went through batting and infield practice at Prince George's Stadium, the 24-year-old right-hander was throwing in front of filmmakers from National Geographic's program "Ultimate Explorer." The filmmakers were gathering footage for a documentary about the culture of speed.
Tentatively titled "The Need for Speed," the documentary will include scenes from car races, Olympic swimming, free-fall skydiving, speed dating and baseball -- specifically Crouthers's fastball.
"It will be kind of cool," Crouthers said. "It's nice to get a little credit for something like that."
Crouthers's fastball tops out at about 94 mph and consistently stays in the low nineties. But perhaps more important for him than a need for speed is a need for control.
"He has the potential to be a power pitcher, but I think he gets in trouble when he tries to throw too hard, because he'll lose his command," Bowie Manager Dave Trembley said. "He needs to work on the command of all his pitches and try to keep his pitch count down, throw strikes and not try to strike everybody out."
Heading into yesterday, Crouthers -- who was selected for the Class AA All-Star Game -- was third in the Eastern League in strikeouts with 81. But after starting the season 5-1, Crouthers has gone 0-3 in his last five starts, including a no-decision in Bowie's 4-3 victory over Erie on Saturday.
"I've had a couple rough starts lately," Crouthers said.
Crouthers continues to fine-tune his slider and change-up and, most importantly, is trying not to lean too much on his fastball.
"It's still an ongoing battle; I haven't mastered it yet, and I probably will never master it," Crouthers said. "But hopefully I can control it enough to get to the big leagues and stay there."