Courtesy J.P. Crawford's Twitter
The Phillies used their first round pick in the 2013 amateur draft to select shortstop J.P. Crawford. Crawford hails from Lakewood High School in California. Crawford is a lefty hitter who throws right-handed (not that any shortstop throws left-handed). The Phillies picked sixteenth overall.
Crawford is the first shortstop the Phillies picked in the first round since 2008, when the Phillies used their selection to select Anthony Hewitt, who can now be seen playing right field in AA Reading. This Phillies prospect, however, is slotted to remain up the middle long term.
Baseball America had nice things to say about Crawford last November after an impressive performance in the Jesse Flores game, a Southern California game to showcase amateur talent. They found him to be the standout star of the game:
The most impressive of the position players was Lakewood (Calif.) High shortstop J.P. Crawford. The 6-foot-2 180-pound Southern California commit is a four-year starter for the same powerhouse program that produced top catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud and Phillies 2012 supplemental first-rounder Shane Watson. Offensively, the lefthanded-hitting Crawford utilizes an open stance with his hands held high that bears a striking resemblance to that of Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford, a distant cousin of J.P. Although he does not possess the present strength that Carl does, J.P. has strong barrel awareness and the ability to lace line drives to the gaps. He shows good weight transfer and potential for more pop but must continue to keep his lower half in sync.
With the glove, Crawford is a premium quick-twitch athlete who projects to play the position long term. While he is not a burner, Crawford is a plus runner with enough range and the fluid actions to handle the position. He did a good job of coming through the ball and getting his feet in position to allow his soft hands and plus arm to work seamlessly.
Crawford seemed excited to join the Phillies, and took to Twitter:
Philly better be ready for it!! #phillynation— jp crawford (@jp_crawford) June 7, 2013
Previously committed to attending USC, Phillies hope to sign the young talent. His cousin is Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford, who offered his congratulations to J.P. on Twitter.
Watch him in action below: