Ten things for Phillies fans to look forward to in 2018

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 29: Jorge Alfaro #38 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates with Odubel Herrera #37 after hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on September 29, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Mets 6-2. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 29: Jorge Alfaro #38 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates with Odubel Herrera #37 after hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on September 29, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Mets 6-2. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 05: J.P. Crawford #2 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a single against the New York Mets during the fifth inning of a game at Citi Field on September 5, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The hit was Carwfords first MLB hit. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

J.P. Crawford as the everyday shortstop

This time last year, we weren’t even sure if J.P. Crawford could make it as a major-leaguer after an abysmal stretch in Triple-A to end the season. That uncertainty continued well into the 2017 season after Crawford continued to struggle in Lehigh Valley. Several of the major prospect outlets had written him off, but things turned around for the 22-year-old.

After a week and a half long respite that acted as both time to heal a strained groin and a mental break, Crawford finally started hitting. From June 20 until the end of the minor-league season, he hit 13 home runs, had a .280/.381/.522 line, 0.78 walk-to-strikeout ratio, and 52 wRC+.

With confidence in Crawford restored, the team called him up to the majors in September, where he continued to show his trademark plate discipline. He had to bounce around the diamond to find at-bats, spending time at second base, third base, and shortstop.

With Freddy Galvis now a Padre, Crawford has the green light to be the starting shortstop in 2018. It’s his job as long as he’s healthy. There will definitely be a learning curve for him, but at 23 years old, he will be one of the youngest players in the majors. If Crawford stays patient at the plate, the production will come.

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