Phillies CF prospects Justin Crawford, Johan Rojas thriving in minors

Justin Crawford poses with Robert Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Justin Crawford poses with Robert Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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Justin Crawford and Johan Rojas are among the thriving Phillies OF prospects.

The Philadelphia Phillies recently filled their seemingly never-ending centerfield opening by acquiring Brandon Marsh from the Los Angeles Angels for catcher prospect Logan O’Hoppe.

The plus-defender — who in nine games in red pinstripes entering Sunday has four singles, one double, two RBI, and a .200/.231/.240 slash line  — is under team control through the 2027 season. If all goes well beyond then — or perhaps sooner — prospects Justin Crawford and Johan Rojas seem poised to be the next great Phillies outfielders manning the position.

Drafted 17th overall in this year’s MLB draft out of Las Vegas, Nevada, Crawford is the son of four-time All-Star Carl Crawford — the cousin of fellow Gold Glove Award winner and former top Phillies infield prospect J.P. Crawford.

In other words, strong defense runs in the family. So does speed for the father-son combo. In the 18-year-old’s first professional game with the FCL Phillies last week, he swiped an impressive three bases and walked twice. Fans will remember his dad, Carl, in the 2008 World Series as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.

As for No. 3-ranked Phillies prospect Rojas — who turned 22 on Sunday — one 2022 stat stands out prominently: 47 stolen bases out of 49 attempts between the Advanced-A Jersey Shore and Double-A Reading levels. At center field, the Dominican Republic native has committed only three errors across 715 1/3 innings and 218 chances this season. He has also completed five assists.

At the plate this month at Double-A, Rojas has collected a double and pair of triples. He also recently beat out a bunt for a hit and stole second. He has 25 extra-base hits, 28 RBI, and 29 walks overall in 101 games this season.

Whether it’s Marsh, Crawford, or Rojas, the Phillies surely have some speedy centerfield options to choose between in the years ahead.

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