J.P. Crawford may sound like the name of an expensive lawyer in a high-stakes legal thriller, but he's not. It's is actually the name of one of the most highly touted prospects in baseball, a shortstop for the Phillies who entered 2018 as a consensus top-40 prospect. He, along with a host of young, elite prospects, could be the key that opens the door to contention for the Phillies sooner rather than later. Here's how Crawford could help turn the Phillies around in 2018. Crawford's most touted, reliable and developed skill is his plate discipline. As a minor leaguer, Crawford consistently posted a double-digit BB%, a trend that continued during his cup of coffee in 2017: his walk rate of 18.4 percent was fourth best in the majors among players with at least 80 PA, trailing Joey Votto, Mike Trout and Aaron Judge. While that figure may be unsustainable given Crawford's level of production on balls in play over the same period (.214 BA, .300 SLG) as pitchers will be more aggressive in the zone, most projection systems peg Crawford for a considerable bounce-back with the bat and a sustained walk rate of around 12.1 percent. In that sense, Crawford mirrors 2017 Yoan Moncada at the plate, with slightly less power but better strikeout prevention.
Why J.P. Crawford highlights a bright Phillies future
Sporting News | Mar 8