By Jim Lane
CURVE, Pa. — Jason Creasy and several of his Curve teammates have come up through the ranks together, and with success.
The 2013 West Virginia Power, which featured a pitching staff that included Creasy, Tyler Glasnow, John Kuchno and Josh Smith, qualified for the South Atlantic League (Low-A) playoffs.
Those pitchers were promoted to Bradenton (High-A) in 2014 and the Marauders also advanced to the Florida State League playoffs.
“A lot of us, at least on the pitching staff, have been together since State College,” Creasy was saying recently at Peoples Natural Gas Field. “From State College to West Virginia to Brandenton and now Altoona. We grew up together.”
The Curve got off to a fast start and have been near the top of the Eastern League standings in the early going of the 2015 season. Creasy has been a big part of the club’s quick start, winning a couple games with an ERA under 3.00.
Creasy said the pitching staff always pulls for one another.
“You don’t want one of your buddies going out there and having a bad night,” Creasy said. “Even though we’re competing against each other for a spot in the big leagues, you don’t want them to do badly.”
Selected by the Pirates in the eighth round of the 2011 draft, Creasy, from Clayton, N.C., turned down a scholarship from North Carolina State to sign professionally.
“I only went for just a week of summer school,” Creays said. “By that time, I decided I wanted to play pro ball. It’s in my contract that school is paid for, if I go back, so there was no risk in me signing to play pro ball.”
Creasy pitched in only three games with the GCL Pirates and then had a difficult time at short-season State College in 2012 with a 0-5 record and 5.63 ERA in 14 starts.
“I didn’t do very well at State College and was in the bullpen at West Virginia in 2013,” he said. “I did pretty well in the second half at West Virginia and gained a spot as a starter at Bradenton last year. I did pretty decent and now I’ve got a starting spot in Altoona.”
After finishing 6-4 at West Virginia, Creasy went 8-9 in 27 starts (3.93) at Bradenton in 2014, and he’s happy with his progress.
“From where I started to where I am now, there’s a lot of difference between my abilitythen and now,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll keep progressing and getting better.”
Creasy played for manager Tom Prince at Bradenton and Justin Meccage has been his pitching coach for three seasons — State College, Bradenton and Altoona.
“I really like both of them,” Creasy said. “Meccage was my pitching coach at State College so I’ve had him three of four years. I know what he’s going to bring and what he expects. I had Princey last year and being able to move up with them is good.”
Creasy also credits youth coaches Joey Babyak and Ron Walker for his success. Chris Archer, who pitches for the Tampa Rays, is a product of Clayton, N.C., like Creasy, and was tutored by Walker, too.
Off the field, the 6-3, 215-pound Creasy likes to play golf and he enjoys horeback riding as well.
Prince said Creasy is improving as a pitcher.
“He’s really grown over the years, which they all do, but Creasy is really maturing this year,” Prince said. “The ability I see in him is unlimited now.”
“His key is attacking the strike zone and throwing the ball over the plate,” the manager said. “He has a mission about him and I love to see that. He competes all the time and it’s fun to watch him grow.”