Throughout spring training, Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford will be checking in to offer his thoughts straight from Clearwater, FL.
Crawford, 20, is widely considered the Phils’ top prospect after the team’s first round draft pick in 2013 posted a .285/.375/.406 slash line in 123 combined games at Class A Lakewood and Class A Advanced Clearwater last year in his first full pro season.
Read ahead for all the exclusive quotes straight from the one and only J.P..
-With games getting underway, Crawford talked about how he and his group that’s being coached by the Clearwater staff did in the opening two days…
“We played the Blue Jays (on Tuesday) and the Pirates (on Wednesday) and we beat both of them. We started off real well, playing real good team baseball. I went 2-for-3 on Wednesday, so, I’m finally starting to get a feel for live pitching again and everything’s starting to come around.
“I think I went 0-for-3 on Tuesday and played all nine innings. I played seven innings (on Wednesday).”
-On the topic of the intrasquad games in which the Phillies’ minor leaguers play against one another and if the players take those games seriously…
“We always take it serious. Whenever we’re on the field playing a game, we’re out there trying to win. And especially when we’re out there playing against the older squad, it’s a lot of fun. It’s really competitive for us. We’re trying- we’re going out there to beat them.
“The first intrasquad game, I went 2-for-4. I faced Zach Eflin the first game. I got a base hit off of him.”
“It was a great experience. I mean, meeting new people, the new prospects on our team to make us better, it’s not just about the baseball. Their character and all that, they’re nice people. They have good personalities, they’re great to be around, so I can’t wait to see what this season holds with them.”
-Offering some insight on what exposure the prospects have gotten to big league Phils players thus far this spring…
“Chase Utley came to talk to us the other day about hitting, like, what his approaches are, what he thinks in the box in certain situations and stuff. It was good to hear from a lefty’s point of view, too, especially a hitter like him, who can flat out hit. So, it was good to pick up some knowledge from him.
“There are, surprisingly, a lot of questions (from the minor leaguers). (Utley) answered them great. They’re always good questions about stuff people need to know, so he helped us out on that.”
-Sharing thoughts on what mistakes players can make during their first spring training…
“I think, some people, I’m not going to name anybody, but there are people who, in their first couple games, they don’t get a hit and they’re all mad. I tell them, ‘You gotta chill! You have to relax. You’ve got five months ahead of you. It’s gonna click some time, so you’ve gotta stay positive and do you.'”
-Opening up about missing his dogs during the long baseball season…
“Aw, man, it’s tough! You can’t see them growing up, especially my new puppy I just got. She’s still growing and one of them, she might be pregnant coming up soon. It’s like having little kids. They’ll stay home with my parents the whole season.”
-Speaking in regards to what type of assistance sports agents can offer their players aside from contract and endorsement related matters…
“They take real good care of us. I mean, they’re there for whatever reason may be. They’ll always be there. My agent, he comes and throws batting practice for me whenever I ask him to. That’s really clutch in the off-season. And they just take real good care of all of us.”
“I like Mora and Valentin. They’re both good fielders. I feel comfortable with both of them out there. All of us have good camaraderie out there on the field. They’re both good. They both play hard. They both bust their butts.
“Valentin, he’s one of those players that’s going to play hard and play the Phillie way. ”
-Offering a quick remark about the reported retirement of the Phils’ top draft choice from 2011, Larry Greene Jr….
“It caught everybody by surprise. We were just wondering where he was and he didn’t show up.
“It’s his decision and I love Larry to death.”
~Check out J.P.’s previous spring comments by clicking here.