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2013 MLB Draft Profile: SS J.P. Crawford

A closer look at California prep shortstop, J.P. Crawford.

J.P. Crawford, SS

J.P. Crawford
Pos High School / College Consensus Rank
Lakewood High School
middle 1st round
B/T Birthdate (age) Height / Weight
L/R 1/11/95 (18) 6'2" / 175 lbs

In general the 2013 draft class is considered to be a down one for prep talent. A combination of a shallow talent pool and some underperformance this Spring from the consensus top guys has left the top half of the first round tilting towards the college players. This leaves Crawford as the only prep shortstop in the draft with a first-round grade from Baseball America. Like the Mets 2012 first-round pick, Gavin Cecchini, Crawford doesn't fill up the scouting report with plus tools, but has a a broad base of offensive skills and should stick at shortstop. Like Cecchini last year, that makes him an intriguing target in the 10-20 range, especially in a draft with a dearth of high-level shortstop prospects. He's committed to USC, but assuming he goes off the board in the first round, he should be very signable.

Video (Steve Fiorindo/Bullpen Banter)

Alex's take:

"Crawford’s a guy who you project to do a little bit of everything but not really excel at anything. Defensively at short, he has some athleticism which helps his range, but his actions still need a little more polish, and his hands aren’t the best you’ll find. I see him as a future solid-average defender at the position. At the plate, he does have some wiry strength to him which will provide a little bit of pop, but his approach at the plate is too power-oriented, with a long swing and a high hand setup. He’d be better off with a simpler approach. He also needs to watch his lower body: he has a wide-open stance, and many players with one tend to overstride."

Baseball America's take:

"He has become a much more fluid defender over the last two years, making him the rare prep prospect with a real chance to play shortstop in the major leagues. His long arms and game awareness give him good range, especially to his left and on balls in front of him. He needs to improve on balls to his right, but his above-average arm should allow him to make plays from the hole, and he has sure hands and good actions. He projects as a solid-average or slightly better defensive shortstop and an average hitter with fringy power. Crawford has good hand-eye coordination, which allows him to spray line drives to all fields, but he has a high set-up and a bit of a loop in his swing. He can turn on balls on occasion, but he needs to get stronger and smooth out his swing in order to get on top of good fastballs. Crawford is a solid-average runner who takes good turns and has baserunning savvy."

Final Thoughts

There have been some vague rumblings that Crawford is on the Mets board somewhere, but I think it's unlikely they target him on draft day. This isn't because he's kind of redundant a year after picking Gavin Cecchini, but I get the impression that there are two or three guys they'd prefer at #11, at least one or two of whom should still be on the board. Alex's concerns about his swing are strong enough to knock him down my list as well. Personally, I was not a huge fan of the Cecchini pick, and if the Mets are going to take a player with a fairly low ceiling, they should go for a one who's closer to that ceiling than Crawford.