Yesterday, we profiled Stanford outfielder Austin Wilson and his fit with the Phillies. Today we take a look at a name that has been linked to the Phillies for months: J.P. Crawford.
One knock on Crawford is that he loads his hands high which allows his swing to get long at times. He also tends to get out on his front foot which diminishes his power and prevents him from driving balls into the gap. All of this is a matter of shortening his stroke and quieting his body at the plate which should be a simple adjustment in the low-minors for a young athlete.
When Crawford is hitting well, he is staying balanced (and not too far out in front) and using his 6'2" frame to get a good downward swing on the ball. Despite some of the negatives about Crawford at the plate, he still projects as an above-average hitter for a middle infielder.
Crawford projects to stay at shortstop but, according to Lakewood coach Spud O'Neil, could make the jump to the outfield. With his speed and good hands, centerfield does not appear out of the question if shortstop does not work.
Fit with the Phillies
This is the type of player that is screaming for the Phillies to draft him. He is the No. 1 ranked shortstop prospect according MLB.com and is No. 19 overall. Almost every single scout and scouting report uses the term "toolsy" which fits right in with the Phillies draft history. The Phillies like guys with high upside and there are not many players who have a higher upside in the draft than Crawford. In the past the Phillies have shown an affinity for drafting players from Southern California (Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, etc.) and, in particular, Lakewood High School (Watson, D'Arnaud).
Could Crawford be the next great shortstop to come through South Philadelphia? We will find out tomorrow.
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