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Matt Krook focusing on command at Salem-Keizer

The recently drafted lefty is working on his development in short-season ball

Matt Krook looks at the field following his start on Jul. 20.
Jen Mac Ramos

KEIZER, ORE. — San Francisco Giants prospect Matt Krook is two years removed from Tommy John surgery and his arm feels like his arm again.

Krook, the Giants’ fourth-round pick in 2016 out of the University of Oregon, underwent the surgery during his freshman year.

"It’s just starting to feel like it’s my own arm again," Krook says. "Whereas the college season, I was going through some problems where it didn’t ever feel great and I just didn’t feel like myself. It’s really starting to come back now, which is exciting. It’s made the transition from college ball to pro ball a lot earlier, just having a strong arm and some confidence in it."

Quickly, Krook is becoming one of the top arms in the lower levels for the Giants, even being part of a near no-hitter on July 12—his second start with Low-A Salem-Keizer.

Fastball command is something he says he’s working on, and he says he and coaches are in line on what he needs to focus on in his first summer of professional baseball.

"I’m really excited to work with the great pitching coaches we have here on trying to work on my command and figure that out," Krook says. "it’s pretty clear that my stuff is there I just need to figure out where it’s going."

Krook worked on a bullpen session last Friday, where he said he worked on some stuff that he hoped to take to his next start.

His outing on Jul. 20 was not nearly as successful as the near no-hitter, only lasting two innings. However, Krook says that pitch limits are what took him out of the game.

"I can’t go over 70 pitches," Krook says. "I threw 30 pitches in the second inning and once you throw 30 pitches in an inning you can’t go back out for the next inning."

Krook says that he’s not really results-oriented this season, as far as box scores goes, but more process-oriented. He says he wants to "just go out there and limit ... walks, throw strikes, make stuff happen."

"I’m not too concerned about strikeouts, or giving up hits," Krook says. "I just really want to get a good command and a good feel for the fastball."

Delivery-wise, he says he doesn’t really model himself after anyone in particular.

"I just go off of what feels good for my body," Krook says. "As far as mechanics go, I might make a few minor adjustments, but I keep it pretty much the same, I think it’s more mental for me in just staying focused pitch to pitch."

Krook is a local kid, born in San Mateo, raised in Hillsborough, and going to high school in San Francisco at St Ignatius College Preparatory. Being drafted by the hometown team is "awesome," he says.

"I was really excited when they gave me the call," Krook says. "Growing up near San Francisco and going to high school in San Francisco, I watched the Giants my whole life and hopefully, one day, I can make that dream of playing for them a reality, and getting that phone call made me one step closer."