It was no surprise that J.P. Crawford was named to the US roster for the Futures Game this past Sunday. Crawford has become the Phillies consensus top prospect after his continued success in 2014 following being the #16 overall pick of the 2013 draft. Crawford stormed through the South Atlantic League and is now settling in to the Florida State League.
Batting and Infield Practice:
I got to the game just has Crawford was entering the cage. His batting practice was not as loud as other participants, his contact was a bit more “inconsistent” as he spray line drives and fly balls around the field. In last few turns in the game he turned on a couple of pitches and hit some out of the park to right field. The session as a whole showed that he still has a lot of work to do at the plate, but there is a ton of potential there. Especially in the power, you can see him growing into more power as he learns to control his swing more
Here is video by Baseball America’s Josh Norris
During fielding Crawford was crisp in his fielding and was the smoothest shortstop outside Lindor in the game. His throws had less zip on them during drills than I expected (he did show a stronger arm during the game. Overall, definitely a guy who can stick at the position and be a really good defender there.
Crawford came in the 5th inning, he hit a soft fly ball to straight center where it dropped in for a single (it was a 94mph fastball from Astros RHP Michael Feliz). He then stole second, barely beating out the throw. He then got to trot home on Joey Gallo‘s monster shot to RF. In his second at bat Crawford worked an 8 pitch groundouts to second. Eric Longenhagen had him at 4.17 down the line, which translates Tulo 50/55 speed, not his fastest time. It was impressive to see him work a count in a game where most hitters were swinging for the fences.
In the field Crawford had one play to him and turned another double play on the feed from second. On both plays he showed smooth actions and a stronger arm than during infield.
Where Does Crawford Go From Here:
In terms of what he showed during the Futures Game, Crawford was not as impressive as some of the other guys on the field with him, however he was easily the most inexperienced player there, and in that context it was really impressive. Crawford could end this year firmly in the Top 20 prospects in the game and by next year be in the upper echelon of prospects in the minor leagues. He really shows a great feel for the game and a ceiling involving near superstar upside. He will finish this year out in the FSL before likely breaking camp in AA to start his second full season. If he continues his torrid pace he could be in line for a callup in either late 2015 or early 2016.
If you are not already excited about his future, it is time to get on board. There is enough here that he combines a high floor and high ceiling and he is deserving of the hype he is getting.