The Phillies top prospect on every major scouting and evaluation resources list, shortstop J.P. Crawford, finally got his 2015 season underway today after spending more than a month on the disabled list due to an oblique injury suffered late in spring training.
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Crawford, a 20-year old from Lakewood, California who was the Phils 1st round selection at 16th overall in the June 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, returned as the DH today for the team’s High-A affiliate Clearwater Threshers in a game vs the Brevard County Manatees at Bright House Field.
In 5 plate appearances, Crawford went 2-3 with a walk, a HBP, a run scored, and 3 rbi. The day was highlighted when he drove a 2-run homer to right in the bottom of the 3rd off BC’s Jorge Ortega.
In the game, the Threshers bolted out to a 3-0 lead, largely thanks to that Crawford blast. In the bottom of the 5th, Crawford walked with one out, and came around to score on a base hit by Andrew Pullin to make it 4-0. Brevard County scored three in the top of the 6th to get back in it at 4-3.
In the bottom of the 8th, Clearwater pulled away against wild BC reliever Tyler Spurlin, who allowed a hit, walked 3, and hit Crawford in the frame. The three runs pushed the Threshers lead out to 7-3, and that’s how this one would finish. The win pulled the club back within a game of .500 at 13-14 in the Florida State League, 4 games behind Daytona in the North Division.
The only remaining question for Crawford will be how his oblique stands up to the rigors of playing in the field. The Phillies plan is for him to spend a short amount of time getting back in game shape with Clearwater before moving up to AA and the Reading Fightin’ Phils, with whom he is expected to spend the bulk of the 2015 season.