It was a mild surprise to some when J.P. Crawford started the 2016 season at Reading and not Lehigh Valley. But it was also well-known that if things went well early on, the Phillies wouldn't be able to keep their top prospect in AA ball for long. Things have most certainly gone well.
SS J.P. Crawford has been promoted to Lehigh Valley (AAA).— Phillies (@Phillies) May 20, 2016
The Phillies on Friday announced that Crawford has been called up to Lehigh Valley, giving him his first taste of AAA, and putting him one step closer to making his Major League debut sometime later this season.
Thanking God for this opportunity I'm getting. Stay blessed.— jp crawford (@jp_crawford) May 20, 2016
There wasn't much left to prove for Crawford at the plate. He hit .265/.398/.390 for Reading, with a 18.1% BB rate and 12.7% K rate. With six hits, a homer and 5 RBI in his last four games, the Phillies had apparently seen enough to be able to confidently send him to Lehigh Valley without any reservations.
The defense is still a work in progress, and nobody can really assume right now that Crawford will make things look as effortless as Jimmy Rollins did. Crawford committed 27 errors last season and has seven so far this year, and the occasional hiccup does pop up. He does have the range to be an above-average defender, though. He'll continue to work on that with the Iron Pigs.
Crawford has used all fields this season at the plate, impressively spraying the ball all over the field.
There isn't much left to be said about Crawford. At 21, he's one of the most exciting prospects in baseball. He has an outside chance to be on the Phillies' roster by the end of the season. If everything goes well with the Iron Pigs, the rest will take care of itself.