Phillies Prospect J.P. Crawford Has Turned Things Around

by Marc Narducci | Aug 17, 2017
Phillies Prospect J.P. Crawford Has Turned Things Around The Phillies have often been cautious at promoting prospects, but those who perform eventually earn their chance. That happened last week when Rhys Hoskins, who was tearing it up at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, was called up to the majors last week. Hoskins was hitting .284 with 29 home runs, 91 RBI and a .966 OPS in 115 games this season for the IronPigs.

A person all eyes have been on for sometime is shortstop J.P. Crawford, who has long been considered the Phillies top prospect, but who is rebounding from what was an very rough start this year at Triple-A.

In fact Crawford didn’t distinguish himself in 87 Triple-A games last year, hitting .244 with four home runs, 30 RBI and a .647 OPS in 385 plate appearances.

This season started out worse for Crawford, the Phillies first round draft choice (No. 16 overall) in 2013. In the first three months of the Triple-A season, he batted .203 with 2 home runs, 27 RBI and a .597 OPS in 291 plate appearances. Crawford also struck out 48 times.

Yet he turned his season around in July. From July 1 through the beginning of this week, Crawford was batting .299 with 11 home runs, 26 RBI and a 1.024 OPS in 171 plate appearances.

Those are the type of numbers that the Phillies and all experts in baseball expected of Crawford, who has been tabbed a budding star ever since he was drafted.

Crawford will be 23 in January, and most expect next season is the one where he will make his move to the majors. He could get called up this September when the rosters expand, but would have to be added to the 40-man roster.

It was assumed that Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis would be a placeholder until Crawford replaced him, but Galvis has become one of the team leaders. He is among the best defensive shortstops in the game and his offense has improved. (Galvis began the week hitting .257 with 11 home runs, 49 RBI and a .716 OPS).

He turns 28 in November and is eligible for one more season of arbitration before becoming a free agent.

Would the Phillies dare attempt to sign him to a multi-year deal and trade Crawford, or think of moving Crawford to either second base or third base?

It still seems as if Crawford is the Phillies shortstop of the future. The Phillies brass has always talked about seeing how players react when they struggle.

To Crawford’s credit, he has rebounded and between now and the end of the season will be important to see if he can continue to grow.

If the Phillies attempted to trade Galvis, it’s likely they wouldn’t receive much in return since he only has one more year of team control.

Either way, this is a pleasant decision for the Phillies, with the thought of having too much depth at shortstop.

Either way, the sizzling last month in a half by Crawford has turned his career in a positive direction. If he can sustain this until the end of this season, then his time at Triple-A could be over for good.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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