Analysis

J.P. Crawford’s talents coming to fruition

J.P. Crawford, the Phillies top draft choice in 2013, was mired in a .175 hole at the end of the May in his fourth full season as a professional. He was as advertised all the way through the system – a staple at the top of an order who gets on base and runs – until he reached triple-A. Though he was hitting .175, Crawford was getting on base at a .291 clip, which isn’t bad relative to his average. But still not good enough.

At that point, mostly everyone started to worry – and if you didn’t, you’re kidding yourself. But since May 26, Crawford was exactly the player as advertised, hitting .275/.380/.494 (triple-A numbers). If his season started then, he probably would’ve been called up much sooner.

Since his promotion to the big leagues, the 22-year-old has picked up right where he left off, slashing .261/.352/.391 in 14 games. He’s added four doubles, a triple and six RBI primarily batting in the bottom third of the lineup. And in the small sample size, Rhys Hoskins and Crawford rank one and two on the team in pitches per plate appearance at 4.55 and 4.46, respectively. And over the last four games, Crawford has stepped it up a notch, proving he’s comfortable at this level by seeing five pitches per plate appearance. He’s drawn five walks as a result.

It remains to be seen where the former first round pick will consistently hit in the lineup. Decisions need to be made on a cast of infielders: Maikel Franco, Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis. One thing we know for sure, Crawford is as smooth an infielder as anyone at any position.

Regardless of where Crawford hits, his type of approach does wonders anywhere in the lineup. If the Phillies decide to trade Hernandez, the infielder will likely slide into the top of the order, taking pitches so the rest of the lineup can time the pitcher. And once he gets on base, the meat of the order should get fastballs to hit. If the Phillies part ways with Galvis, then there’s a possibility Crawford hits seventh or eighth, and in case, he’ll be able to turn the lineup over more times than not for Hernandez and eventually Kingery.

Combine this offensive flexibility with the obvious defensive flexibility he’s showing, and Crawford is already close to proving himself worthy at the top level.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Keg

    September 22, 2017 at 1:52 am

    I like both Freddy and Ceaser, but maybe we could get a decent relief or starting arm, if we package them. At this point Franco still has more upside than both of them.

  2. denzen

    September 22, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    I hope they continue to play Crawford all over the infield, and that he gets some time in the outfield. Let’s see how thing play out next spring training, before the Phils need to make any decisions on who to keep and who to trade. Sees like Crawford turned his season around when he got dropped in the midseason top 100 prospects, and Kingery moved up to AAA.
    Crawford seems to be taking the most playing time away from Franco. I keep hoping that fact, and the new guys approach at the plate will rub off on Franco, and he will go into next spring trainig with a better approach to his at bats.

  3. betasigmadeltahag

    September 25, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I like what I see from Crawford, and I never really lost faith that he would progress. I do have a soft spot for Galvis, and would hope he would be on the team when they start winning again. I think he brings more to this team then his numbers, and think he would proven to be a clutch, if not putting up great numbers. I think you should be able to get a return for Hernandez, and Kingery is the real deal and should start for the Phillies from day one next year. If they can keep Franco in the process and use him at first base at times, when you move Hoskins out to the OF, with possible getting something for Joseph from an AL team. I think would be ideal. I like the OF of Williams, Herrera, and Althrr and think they can be a presence for a long time. Even though Crawford would not be you prototypical hitter for the hot corner. But you will have enough power numbers from Hoskins, Williams, Alterr, and Kingery to make up for not having a power hitting third baseman. I also think the bull pen in most cases is a unpredictable for any team and could be fixed for next year.
    My biggest fear is they keep MacKanen, because I feel he does not handle the pen well and is not the manager this team needs. In my fantasy world they would bring Lopes back to coach first base, I know that will never happen. But with the speed this team should have with Crawford, Alterr, Williams, and if they keep Hernandez, and even Galvis, they could steal a lot more bases if properly coached. I think Galvis has as much speed as Utley, and is baseball smart, and there is no reason he can not be a 15-20 stolen base guy.

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