J.P. Crawford

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John Paul Crawford

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Biographical Information[edit]

A cousin of Carl Crawford, shortstop J.P. Crawford was selected #16 overall in the 2013 amateur draft by the Philadelphia Phillies and scout Demerius Pittman. He soon signed for a bonus of just under $2.3 million and made his pro debut with the GCL Phillies on June 27th, going 1-for-4 against the GCL Pirates. He hit .345 in 39 games in the Gulf Coast League to earn a promotion to the Lakewood Blue Claws of the South Atlantic League, where he hit .208 in 14 games. Overall that first season, his batting line was .308/.405/.400 with 35 runs scored and 21 RBIs in 53 games. In 2014, he was assigned back to Lakewood to start the year and hit .295 in 60 games. The Phillies continued to promote him aggressively, moving him up to the Florida State League in mid-season. Playing for the Clearwater Threshers, he hit .275. At only 19, he was almost four years younger than the average player in the FSL, making his ability to keep up that much more impressive. Overall his batting line was .285/.375/.406 in 123 games, with 69 runs scored, 48 RBIs and 24 stolen bases.

The fact that Crawford was developing nicely allowed the Phillies to make the decision to trade long-time shortstop Jimmy Rollins after the 2014 season. While he was not in line to succeed him at the big league level immediately, the Phillies were penciling him for a late 2016 or early 2017 arrival at Citizens Bank Park, and were not planning to invest in a big name shortstop as long as J.P. kept up his progression. It took slightly longer than planned, but J.P. made his debut in a Phillies' uniform on September 5, 2017. He hit .214 in 23 games during his first taste of the majors. In 2018, he was the Phils' starting shortstop the first month, but hit just .188 in his first 21 games, then went on the disabled list with a forearm strain. Another rookie, Scott Kingery, took over for him in his absence, and he never really regained his starting job, playing a stretch of games in June, and then returning for September. That third and final sting was his best, as he managed to raise his average from .191 to .214, but it was still well below what the Phillies expected. Seeking to contend sooner rather than later after having been on the postseason race most of 2018, the Phils decided to acquire a veteran shortstop after the season, trading for Jean Segura, Juan Nicasio and James Pazos from the Seattle Mariners, who were going through a fire sale, with J.P. heading the other way along with 1B Carlos Santana.

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