Analysis

ESPN’s Law Ranks Phillies Crawford 19th Best Prospect

Keith Law of ESPN likes Phillies prospect JP Crawford. So much so that he ranked him 19th in his update Top 25 MLB prospect rankings on ESPN.com.

Here’s what he had to say about the Phillies shortstop:

After (Kris) Bryant, Crawford is having the best 2014 of any player drafted in last year’s first round, showing an outstanding approach at the plate and surprising doubles power along with very promising work at shortstop.

I loved him at the time of the draft but thought he’d be a slow-developing prospect; based on his work in pro ball so far, with a composite .324/.418/.440 line in his first 411 plate appearances since he signed, I might have been a little light on him.

Law is a well-respected voice and someone who has been in an MLB front office before, so I do trust his opinion. And it’s certainly outstanding news to hear that a Phillies has cracked the top 20. Can’t remember the last to do so.

The Phillies need more players like Crawford. And while he’s currently a few years away from making a major league impact, not to mention he’d be blocked anyway by Jimmy Rollins, it’s at least a good sign that the Phillies may have hit on a first round pick, something they’ve struggled with as of late.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Scotty Ingerton

    May 30, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    The Phillies selected Crawford out of high school which isn’t unusual for them (almost half their picks are high school kids). David Murphy compared the Phillies’ philosophy to the Cardinals’ mindset (college kids over high school 2-1) today.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20140530_Playing_right_draft_Cards.html

  2. Scotty Ingerton

    May 30, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Over the last 10 drafts “the quality of the Phillies’ picks ranks last. According to Baseball Reference, the combined WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of Phillies draft picks over the past 10 years is 20.7, which is a remarkable 24.6 points lower than the 29th ranked Blue Jays (45.3).

    The Red Sox (142.7), Braves (133.3), Angels (124.4), Yankees (120.5) and Diamondacks (120.1) are in the top five. The Phillies, Blue Jays, Mets (49.5), Twins (49.6) and Marlins (51.8) are in the bottom five.

    The big-league average is 82.7.

    http://zozone.mlblogs.com/2014/05/30/last-10-drafts-havent-delivered-for-phillies/

  3. Robotnik

    May 31, 2014 at 12:23 am

    Can’t wait to see Crawford in the majors this year. Let’s move this kid along. Yankees didn’t let Jeter waste his talents in the minors, nor should the Phils waste JP’s talent in their dreadful minor league system.

    • schmenkman

      May 31, 2014 at 12:59 am

      Right… Jeter was a September call-up at 21. That’s two years away for Crawford.

      Jeter had his first full season at 22. That’s three years away for Crawford.

      Bringing Crawford up to the majors this year is the worst thing you can do to him.

      • Robotnik

        May 31, 2014 at 1:15 am

        Possibly….although a case can be made that the worst thing that could happen to JP is playing in the Phillies minor league system with the dregs of minor league baseball that the Phillies have drafted over the last several years. This kid has the skills and needs to be challenged.

      • schmenkman

        May 31, 2014 at 5:50 am

        I actually don’t think that case can be made in a credible way.

      • Ryne Duren

        May 31, 2014 at 8:54 am

        I’m with you Schmenk. The kids gonna be a good one. He’s young and has lots of real talent. Let him hone it down there and in maybe 2 yrs when Rollins contract is up he’ll possibly be a replacement. So far he looks like the real deal to me. He has performed very well at the levels they had him in. He’s at Lakewood now and to me being there just a year from being drafted shows you the talent he has.

  4. rob

    May 31, 2014 at 9:19 am

    The real problem is with the Philadelphia Phillies management. Whatever talent seeking persons they have? persons who evaluate talent? etc…. do not seem to know what they are doing.

    Please , please, please — owners redo your office staff! Trade off some of these older players especially ones that deserve to play on a winning team (Utley, Lee) and let’s rebuild. I’ll start buying tickets again. Let’s give this organization a blood transfusion.

    Rob

  5. wbramh

    May 31, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    In Crawford’s case I would reluctantly agree – Too soon to bring him up.. but not by much.

    With a minor league talent pool rated 30th over the last decade combined with a GM rated 30th out of 30 it begs the only slightly less objective question of how the scouting system would be rated… and where would the coaches in that system be rated?

    It’s been argued that the Jeters, Trouts, Harpers and Fernandez’s of the league are the exception, and while there are currently a few dozen 22-23 year-old stars in MLB, obviously they are relatively few in number compared to the mass of young kids who never make it or get their first taste of the Bigs years later (ie: the Dom Browns and Darin Rufs of the baseball world).

    But the question is, do the Trouts really mature faster or are they simply great players? How much better do the Dom Browns get by keeping them on the farm for an extra year… or four? Perhaps what you see by 21 is what you get. Perhaps the well-under-20 Aparicios and Fellers are extremely rare and Crawford needs at least another full season in the minors (if only because he won’t get playing time behind Rollins). I can buy that argument. And no doubt there have been exceptions in both directions, Koufax being one of the late bloomers, but even in Koufax’s case the talent was obvious and earned him a shot in the Bigs years before he found his control and superstardom.

    The Phillies seem to be on an unrewarding treadmill, deciding which mediocre minor leaguers might over-perform while shipping down the more serious under-performers. There’s still time for Crawford to mature, but Maikel Franco? Considering the dearth of quality of talent at 3rd base, I’d say his clock is ticking, loudly.

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