Jesse Alan Crain
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 205 lb.
- School University of Houston, San Jacinto Junior College
- High School Fairview High School (Boulder, CO)
- Debut August 5, 2004
Jesse Crain is a relief pitcher who was in his tenth big league season in 2013.
Born in Toronto, Canada, Crain grew up in Colorado. After beginning school at San Jacinto Junior College, he transferred to the University of Houston and was later chosen by the Minnesota Twins in the second round of the 2002 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Marty Esposito and began his pro career that summer with the Elizabethton Twins, going 2-1 with a 0.57 ERA amd 2 saves in 9 games before being promoted to the Quad Cities River Bandits in August. With the River Bandits, he went 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA and 1 save in 9 outings.
Crain started 2003 with the Fort Myers Miracle and was promoted to the AA New Britain Rock Cats in early May. After going 1-1 with a 0.69 ERA and 9 saves in 22 games for New Britain, he advanced to the AAA level in July with the Rochester Red Wings, for whom he saved 10 games. He began the following season back with the Red Wings, and after saving 19 games for the team, he was promoted to the big leagues with the Twins in August. He recorded his first major league win against the Texas Rangers on September 1st and ended the year with a 3-0 record and a 2.00 ERA in 22 games with Minnesota.
Crain was on the Twins Opening Day roster in 2005 and went on to win his first 8 decisions that year. He recorded his first big league save on July 10th against the Kansas City Royals and ended the season with a 12-5 record and a 2.71 ERA in 75 games. After pitching for Team Canada in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, he put together another solid season in the Minnesota bullpen, going 4-5 with a 3.52 ERA and 1 save in 68 appearances. However, he was limited to just 18 games the next summer due to a torn rotator cuff. He did manage to bounce back in 2008, posting a 5-4 record and a 3.59 ERA in 66 outings.
Crain again represented Canada in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He struck out all four batters he faced in the eighth and ninth innings, with 90+ mph pitches, but Canada lost that game to Italy. He had a difficult start to the season with the Twins that year, posting an 8.15 ERA in 23 games before being sent to the minors for about a month. He was back for the late-season push to attempt to catch the Detroit Tigers atop the AL Central and went 5-0 with a 2.93 ERA in his last 30 appearances. Back to his regular form in 2010, he went 1-1 with a 3.04 ERA and 1 save in 71 games that summer.
Following the 2010 season, Crain became a free agent and signed a three-year contract with the Chicago White Sox. The Sox got ther money's worth, as he was solid all three seasons. In 2011, he went 8-3, 2.62 in 67 games, and then 2-3, 2.44 in 51 games in 2012. He was well-nigh unhittable early in the 2013 season, going 2-3 with an 0.74 ERA in 38 games until the end of July. He was named to the All-Star team for the first time of his career that season, then, with the Sox in last place, was traded to the contending Tampa Bay Rays in return for future considerations on July 29th. However, he was down with a shoulder strain at the time, and was unable to come back to pitch for his new team. He became a free agent and on December 31st, signed a deal with the Houston Astros.
- AL All-Star (2013)