Meet the freshmen: Back from surgery, Matthew Crownover one of nation's top lefties

Ringgold, Ga. star was two-time Georgia state player of the year

Baseball - Matthew Crownover

Photo by Mark Crammer

Baseball - Matthew Crownover

Matthew Crownover

6-0, 200, LHP

Ringgold HS, Ringgold, Ga.

Two years ago, Matthew Crownover looked like one of those high school stars who would probably end up bypassing the college game.

After winning back-to-back Georgia player of the year awards and performing at a high level on in various all-star tournaments, Crownover was being widely touted as one of the top 10 prospects in his class for the major league draft.

Then, in the middle of his senior season, everything changed. An elbow injury requiring 'Tommy John surgery' ended Crownover's season. His draft status dropped, while Clemson - with whom Crownover had signed months earlier - reaffirmed its commitment to the player.

With his rehab going ever better than expected, Crownover looks to figure heavily into Clemson's plan this season - less than a year after his surgery.

"It stinks, but last year's opening day rosters had 163 pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery," Crownover told his local newspaper, the Chattanooga Times-Free Press, after he learned he would need surgery. "So, there's basically two kinds of pitchers—pitchers who have had Tommy John and pitchers who are going to have Tommy John. . . I was pretty down earlier in the week, but I'm just looking forward to rehab and heading to Clemson."

Lefthanders with 90 mile-per-hour fastballs, consistent location and strong mound presence are rare in college.

He arrived at Clemson with a string of accolades, ranked as the No. 62 player overall and the No. 7 lefty in the nation by Perfect Game, and No. 82 overall by Baseball America.

From a scouting report by Big League Futures: "There is no doubt that Crownover knows how to pitch. He spots all of his pitches well. Crownover has a 3/4 arm slot and does a good job repeating his delivery."

Accomplishments

• #62 player and #7 lefthander in the nation and #5 player in Georgia by Perfect Game

• #87 high school prospect in the nation by Baseball America

• All-American by Perfect Game and Rawlings

• East Coast Pro Showcase

• Georgia state player-of-the-year as a sophomore and junior

• Three-time all-state selection

• Had 176 strikeouts in one season

• Lettered four times in baseball, two times in football, and two times in basketball

• Coached by Brent Tucker at Ringgold High School

• Majoring in communication studies

• Born James Matthew Crownover on March 5, 1993 in East Ridge, TN

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