With the 2014 minor league season over for the Phillies affiliates, I thought I’d highlight some of the prospects that stood out. Who better to start with than the 2014 Paul Owens Award winner for best organizational position player, J.P. Crawford. Crawford, the youngest player to receive the award other than Jimmy Rollins, followed up an impressive 2013 season with an even better 2014 season.
- 2013 (GCL/Lakewood): .308/.405/.400 with 13 XBHs and 35:32 K:BB ratio
- 2014 (Lakewood/Clearwater): .285/.375/.406 with 34 XBHs and 74:65 K:BB ratio
While his batting average and on base percentage dipped slightly, his slugging rose significantly. In 2013, Crawford’s isolated power, or ISO, was .092. In 2014, that number jumped to .121. While they aren’t Ruthian numbers, close to a thirty point increase, and more than doubling the total at bats is still impressive.
Crawford also improved his approach at the plate. In 2013, Crawford had a strikeout rate of 15.4% and a walk rate of 14.0%. In 2014, his strikeout rate dropped to 13.8%. While his walk rate slipped to 12.1%, one has to wonder how much the increase in plate appearances effected him. One thing definitely impacted was his aggressiveness on the base path. While he did successfully swipe 24 bases, he was also caught 14 times. As he moves along through the system, hopefully he’ll improve his ability to read pitchers as to when to advance.
Overall, there’s a lot to be excited about with Crawford. He shows the potential to be a 20/20 guy. He’s ranked as the 33rd best prospect in baseball after just his second season. He’s been voted a minor league all-star. He’s also been selected to play in the Future’s Game. All this before his 20th birthday. If the Phillies want to be aggressive with his career path, Crawford could start the season in AA Reading. That level of aggression could lead to the transition from Rollins to Crawford in 2016.
Tags: J.P. Crawford, Jimmy Rollins, Michael Haftman, Minor League Mondays, Philadelphia Phillies, TalkSportsPhilly