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From BR Bullpen
Tristan Gary Francis Crawford
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 213 lb.
- High School Browns Plains State High School
Tristan Crawford was born in Alaska but grew up in Queensland. He was signed by the Minnesota Twins in 2000 and debuted with the GCL Twins the same year, allowing almost two hits per inning and having a 9.95 ERA while battling injury. In the 2000-2001 International Baseball League of Australia, he was 0-1 with a save and a 3.29 ERA while walking 9 in 13 2/3 IP. Back with the GCL Twins in '01, Crawford saved 3 games in 13 appearances and had a 2.20 ERA.
In the 2002 Claxton Shield, Tristan had a 4.50 ERA but a 2.50 WHIP for the Queensland Rams. That summer, he went 6-2 with two saves and a 4.28 ERA for the GCL Twins. Back in Australia for the 2003 Shield, he tossed five shutout innings for a win in his lone start but walked four in five innings while fanning no one.
Moving up to the Quad City River Bandits in 2003, Crawford was 2-2 with a save and a 5.45 ERA while allowing a .306 opponent batting average. In the 2004 Claxton Shield, the Queensland right-hander was atrocious, allowing 7 hits, 6 walks and 9 runs in 4 2/3 IP - yet he still struck out 9 and went 1-0.
Crawford's second season at Quad City was far better, going 3-3 with two saves and a 2.79 ERA and a .203 batting average against. He walked only nine in 48 1/3 IP, showing improved control as well. Melanoma in his right forearm ended his season early. Promoted to the Fort Myers Miracle in 2005, Tristan went 6-5 with 2 saves and a 4.12 ERA while striking out 88 in 80 1/3 innings.
Crawford was back with Queensland in 2006 after missing 2005 - he allowed two runs in six innings and saved one game for the Claxton Shield winners. He was then added to the national team for the 2006 World Baseball Classic, in which he pitched one game. He came in during the 9th inning of a 2-0 loss to Venezuela, replacing Phil Stockman. The Alaska native struck out both Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez looking, walked Ramon Hernandez on four pitches then got Juan Rivera to fly out to end the inning.
In the 2006 regular season, Crawford fared well as a long reliever for the New Britain Rock Cats, striking out 97 in 98 1/3 innings and having a 6-5, 2 Sv, 3.66 record. In the 2007 Claxton Shield, he tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings and saved one game for Queensland.
Crawford's 2007 season began in AAA but he was roughed up with the Rochester Red Wings (0-1, 10.13 in 3 games) and he returned to New Britain, where his record was 8-5, 5.16 with a .296 opponent batting average. Tristan had a 2.45 ERA in five appearances for the Australians in the 2007 Baseball World Cup, one behind Adam Bright for the staff lead in games pitched. In the 2008 Claxton Shield, he was 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA, fourth in the league behind Tim Cox, Chris Mowday and Liam Hendriks.
A free agent, Crawford moved to the Washington Nationals system for 2008. He went 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA for the Harrisburg Senators. Crawford then made Australia's 2009 World Baseball Classic roster. He allowed one run in 1 1/3 IP in high-scoring Foro Sol Stadium during the Classic.