J.P. CRAWFORD – SHORTSTOP
Ranked as the #1 prospect in the game by Baseball Prospectus, #3 prospect in baseball by Baseball America, and MLB Pipeline’s current #3 prospect (the top among those who haven’t reached the majors yet), J.P. Crawford is a stud.
The 21-year old, left-handed hitting shortstop was taken in the 1st round (16th overall) by the Fightins in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, and has ascended through the minor league system at a steady pace ever since.
He has had his share of struggles this year, currently in a 4-for-26 slump and hitting only .230 with fewer than two outs and runners in scoring position. However, he’s been solid defensively and overall he picked up his offensive game this month by slashing .331/.392/.514 with three homers and 11 RBI since the calendar turned to July.
Splitting time between AA Reading and AAA Lehigh Valley this season, in 412 plate appearances Crawford is hitting .264/.364/.369 overall with six round-trippers.
Crawford has some speed, swiping 61 bags over the course of his minor league career, but has also been caught 29 times, leading to a disappointing .678 success rate.
While he still has a few kinks to iron out before he becomes the Phillies everyday guy at short, his 106 extra-base hits over the past 3+ seasons show just how much potential Crawford possesses at the dish.
With Freddy Galvis continuing to struggle and hovering just over the ‘Mendoza Line’ all year, September could beckon a sneak peek at a 2017 spring training position battle between Galvis and Crawford.
With the Phils now apparently falling out of contention, by the time September rolls around Crawford see plenty of plate appearances and innings in the field to showcase his impressive skill set.
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