Name: JP Crawford
Team: Lakewood Blueclaws
Prospect Status: 1st round draft pick in 2013
Friday vs. Delmarva: 1-4 with a double, a run scored, and a run batted in.
Positives: JP Crawford was the 2013 draft’s best shortstop prospect. He is the only player in the entire draft scouts confidently project to stay at the position. He has the athleticism, reactions, and range, to play in the middle of the diamond and arm strength and throwing accuracy to play on the left side of the infield. He has all the raw athleticism, including plus speed and superior fast-twitch muscles, to succeed almost anywhere on the diamond.
During the game on Friday night Crawford showed all of the tools to be a solid player. Crawford made a couple of really good defensive plays including a great diving catch on a line drive in the eighth inning. On his second at bat of the game, Crawford pulled a fastball into the right center field for a double. Despite being a player that just drafted three months ago, Crawford looks like he belongs at this level. He has the swagger of an older player. Through eight games with the Claws, Crawford is hitting .321.
Negatives: His bat is not projected to be any sort of earth-shattering, middle of the order weapon but there are things to like about it. His hands are zippy and quick and the same natural athleticism and coordination that makes him a good shortstop should help him take to mechanical instruction and make necessary adjustments. That instruction is almost inevitable, as Crawford’s swing is a bit of a mess. His hands drift too far (both up and away) from his body, his lower half is quite noisy and his weight transfer can get out of whack, leaving too much weight on his front foot too early in his swing.