From BR Bullpen
John William Michael Crouwel
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 203 lb.
Mike Crouwel was a two-time Hoofdklasse MVP and three-time home run leader. He played briefly in the US minors. He also appeared several times for the Dutch national team, most notably in the Olympics. He is the son of Wim Crouwel, who had also been a baseball star in the Netherlands.
Crouwel debuted in Hoofdklasse in 1988. A year later, he was with the national team for the 1989 European Championship. In the 1990 Baseball World Cup, he hit .370/.471/.704 with 8 runs and 8 RBI in 8 games as the left fielder for the Netherlands; he also had one assist and no errors.
Crouwel led the 1991 Hoofdklasse with 47 RBI and tied Scott Khoury for the home run lead with 16. He was with the Netherlands in the 1991 European Championship. Crouwel's international career was put on hold as he turned pro and professional players were not allowed in international tournaments in 1998.
Crouwel was with the Philadelphia Phillies chain in 1992. He was 4 for 14 with two walks and 6 strikeouts in 5 games for the Martinsville Phillies and hit .286/.375/.286 in 19 games for the Batavia Clippers with 22 strikeouts in 44 AB.
Back with Haarlem Nicols for 1993, Crouwel led the league with 16 home runs. In 1995, he led in RBI (41), now with Kinheim. He won MVP honors in 1996 with Kinheim. Mike led the 1997 Hoofdklasse with 76 hits for Kinheim, falling two shy of the record. He was again MVP that year. He was back with the Netherlands national squad for the 1999 European Championship, going 6 for 24 with a walk, double and home run as the Dutch left fielder.
Crouwel had perhaps his best year in 2000, with the Amsterdam Expos. He led the Hoofdklasse in average (.432, .042 ahead of the runner-up), hits (64, 4 ahead of Johnny Balentina) and homers (7, tied with Remy Maduro, setting a wooden-bat era record). He was second in RBI (42, 3 behind Maduro) and slugging (.628, .012 behind Maduro and .084 ahead of anyone else). Former major leaguer Robert Eenhoorn beat him out for MVP honors. He had one at-bat in the 2000 Olympics. Down 9-2 in the 8th against the Japanese national team and with Ralph Milliard on first, Crouwel pinch-hit for DH Sharnol Adriana. Facing Yoshikazu Doi, he ground into a double play. Overall, Crouwel played 56 games for the Dutch national team.
Mike led the 2001 Hoofdklasse with 46 RBI, 7 ahead of runner-up Percy Isenia. Overall, Crouwel had played 565 games in his Hoofdklasse career.