The untouchables: 4 top prospects Phillies definitely need to keep off the trade block

If the Phillies move towards the trade route to find upgrades for their roster, which top prospects should not be moved under any circumstances?
Andrew Painter, Philadelphia Phillies No. 1 prospect
Andrew Painter, Philadelphia Phillies No. 1 prospect / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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Justin Crawford, OF, No. 3 prospect

Currently ranked within the top three of the Phillies’ top MLB prospects, Justin Crawford has the makings to become a formidable five-tool player, just like his four-time All-Star father, Carl.

The fact that he is also currently the organization’s top-ranked positional prospect despite having only played as high as High-A level speaks volumes of his abilities and potential. His obvious strengths are his lightning speed, coming in with a grade of 70, exceptional defense and arm, with a grade of 60, and solid contact-hitting skills.

Even with his weakness being mainly his power, many believe that it will come over time when his body fills out, and he tightens up his swing during the growth and development of his game.

For the 2023 season, Crawford split time between Single-A Clearwater and High-A Jersey Shore, in which he compiled a stellar .332 average, .859 OPS, along with 71 runs scored, 22 doubles, eight triples, three home runs, 64 RBI and a whopping 47 stolen bases in 55 attempts in just 87 games played. He will likely begin the 2024 season in High-A or Double-A, depending on where the Phillies see him as the best fit.

The Phillies team as a whole struggled immensely with their defense this past season, in particular the outfield. In 2023, the Phillies ranked 26th in the league with -30 DRS, with their outfield totaling -20 DRS if it wasn’t for Johan Rojas raising the bar with his 15 DRS in just two and a half months of playing time.

However, that team weakness could soon be a thing of the past, with the potential of having the elite defensive combination of Rojas and Crawford manning their outfield in the near future. With the possibility of Crawford becoming a key contributor in all aspects of the game, the Phillies would be wise to hold on to him no matter the circumstances, as he could turn out even better than his parental predecessor.