Let it not be said the Phillies don't move prospects up the ranks when they're ready.
On Friday night, the team announced their top prospect, shortstop J.P. Crawford, was promoted to the Double-A Reading Phitin' Phillies.
The promotion was well-deserved. In 21 games (79 ABs) he hit .392/.489/.443 with an OPS of .932, a 15.6% walk rate, 10.0% strikeout rate (both career bests), a wOBA of .454 and a wRC+ of 195. Had he had enough at bats to qualify, he would have led the Florida State League in batting average, on base percentage and OPS.
Yeah, he was ready.
Phillies are promoting J.P. Crawford to Double-A. Likely top 10 and possible top five prospect in all of baseball by the end of the year.— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) May 30, 2015
In fact, ESPN's Keith Law updated his Top 25 this week and had Crawford 4th. This is what he had to say.
Crawford missed all of April because of a strained oblique muscle, but hit .375/.474/.422 with more walks than strikeouts in his first 17 games back from the DL for Clearwater. He's an elite defender with tremendous bat-to-ball skill who profiles as a true leadoff type with his ability to hit for average, get on base and run a little.
The only thing to possibly complain about is his lack of extra base hits so far this year, just a homer and a double. But when you've got a 20-year-old shortstop coming to Double-A with an on-base percentage near .500, you don't sweat the small stuff.
So if watching the big league club kind of bums you out (and after Friday night's dreary 4-1 loss to the Rockies, that would be understandable), you might want to head on over to Reading.
With the addition of Crawford, Reading now has seven of the Top 10 Phillies prospects according to MLB.com and six of the Top 10 according to Baseball America. The best young players in the Phils' system are just a few dozen miles west of Philly, so getting to know Berks County, PA may not be the worst thing in the world right now.
Crawford will jump to the top of a lineup that already features center fielder Roman Quinn, who in 179 ABs is hitting .296/.340/.436 with three homers, six doubles and five triples. Pitchers are going to have their hands full with the first two batters in that lineup.
Crawford was the 16th overall pick by the Phils in the 2013 MLB Draft.