Baseball America continues their League Top 20s with the South Atlantic League. The only member of the Blueclaws to make the list is shortstop and 2013 first round pick J.P. Crawford who came in at #2 on the list, just behind Nationals RHP Lucas Giolito. BA notes that Crawford is the rare shortstop that combines both offensive and defensive potential. At the plate they note that he brings an advanced approach, but his swing can get a bit loopy and pull happy. For Lakewood, Crawford had an even walk to strikeout rate before he was promoted to Florida State League. Overall the SAL was very deep this year so the lack of other prospects should not be taken as a negative.
Notes from Chat:
Brian (Philly): Did any Phillies prospects, outside of course of Crawford, come close to making the list?
J.J. Cooper: He wasn’t going to make the list, but Willians Astudillo is a fascinating prospect. He has some of the best bat-to-ball skills you will see in the minors. Pitchers cannot strike him out. He’ll foul off pitch after pitch until he gets something to drive. Why does he not make the list? He doesn’t have in-game power, he doesn’t have a position and he is already 22, but man, he can really hit. Other Phillies prospects who were in consideration: Dylan Cozens has some power. Zach Green needs to get healthy and prove he can play third base. Andrew Knapp is a catcher with a chance to be at least a backup in the big leagues if he fully make it back from last year’s surgery and continue to develop. Carlos Tocci showed slightly improved strength and a better approach to go with solid D in CF, but he still faces concerns about his bat. Among the Lakewood pitchers, Delvy Francisco has a good fastball, Jesen Thierren is an intriguing sleeper and Ranfi Casimiro showed durability and an improved curveball.
Mark (IL): Will Tocci ever be anything but a 4th/5th OF?
J.J. Cooper: That’s his likely role. He just hasn’t shown much improvement in his strength and power development but he can play a solid to above-average defense in center.
Jim (Philly): If someone wanted to argue that JP Crawford is the second best all around SS prospect in the minors (behind Russell) would you disagree? He has a chance to be a superstar, right?
J.J. Cooper: He’s got to be considered as the one of the candidates for No. 2 on the SS list. He’d be my personal No. 2 behind Russell.
Cal Guy (Cal): Russell #1 SS prospect and Crawford #2? Where does Correa fit in?
J.J. Cooper: Doh. Stupid me forgetting about the injured guy. Correa would be No. 1 for me, Russell 2, Crawford 3.