Athletics prospect stage is set for Jeff Criswell
By Mia Foucek
The Arizona Fall League has officially started, finally giving us a chance to watch some baseball that won’t break our hearts. I’m a big fan of the AFL because we get a temperature check on a few minor league players. There’s nothing like watching young guys come up through the ranks to signal that autumn is officially here.
The A’s sent nine minor leaguers to Arizona this season, so it’s only right that we get better acquainted with the potential future of the organization. And with the anticipated teardown, this may happen a little faster than expected. So let’s welcome Jeff Criswell to the stage.
Criswell’s dominant college years
22-year-old Criswell is a product of his environment, for sure. His father was a big league pitcher, also drafted to the A’s in the 1980s. While at the University of Michigan, Criswell made the All-Big Ten Team as a starter in his sophomore year. He also threw five complete innings of relief in the CWS that same year. Just to name a few accomplishments.
Criswell was drafted by the A’s in 2020 but faced injuries in his first year with the organization, throwing only 12 innings with the High A team.
AFL performance for the prospect
Criswell is currently Oakland’s No. 14 prospect. In his last AFL state, he went 3 2/3, gave up 2 runs but retired 9 out of the first 10 batters. He worked his way out of a jam in the fourth inning and concluded his day with the chance to show what he can do in tight spots.
Overall, it was a big time opportunity for the young starter, and there are more opportunities to come this fall. Criswell’s upcoming performances will be something to look out for as the Major League season wraps up and we immediately crave more baseball.
What can Criswell eventually do for the A’s?
The question is: how can Criswell help the organization if he can stay healthy and continue to develop? Well, we know that the A’s ran in to trouble with their bullpen in an August and September slump.
It will take some time and patience, but a player like Criswell could make the transition to the bullpen, harkening back to his relief innings in college. Since the A’s are financially constrained, it would be worth it to groom talent instead of testing the waters for big-name guys like Craig Kimbrel.
Whatever happens, it’s fun to keep tabs on some fresh talent and see what the future of the team may look like. Happy Fall League, everyone!