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After an 0-for-4 performance (with a walk) on Thursday night, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs shortstop J.P. Crawford, who came into the season as the undisputed top prospect in the Phillies organization, was hitting .203 on the season. Out of 74 qualified International League players, that batting average ranks 73rd.
He has an on-base percentage of .321, which is pretty good all things considering, but his slugging percentage of .276 is also second-to-last, and only four players have a worse OPS than his .597 mark.
Since being moved to AAA last year, Crawford has a slash line of .228/.326/.303 in 152 games (671 PAs). He has struck out 106 times and walked 84. He has 28 extra-base hits since being promoted to Lehigh Valley last year.
These are not the numbers of a top prospect and, even though he is still young for the league at 22 years old, the sample size and struggles are both large enough for one to make an obvious claim.
J.P. Crawford is no longer this team’s top prospect.
So who is? How does the pecking order shake out? Very soon, websites like Baseball America will release an updated, mid-season ranking and we’ll get some answers. But it’s not too soon for me to make some educated guesses. Here is my list of the top-five:
5. Mickey Moniak - OF - Lakewood Blue Claws (A)
4. J.P. Crawford - SS - Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA)
3. Sixto Sanchez - SP - Lakewood Blue Claws (A)
2. Scott Kingery - 2B - Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA)
1. Rhys Hoskins - 1B - Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA)
I have Hoskins first overall because I think he has the greatest chance to be the next Phillies superstar offensive player. Yes, he plays first base, but the bat is for real, and the potential is there for him to be a perennial All-Star at the Major League level.
Joining me on the podcast with her insights to this question is Phillies beat writer Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal (interview starts at 12:25 mark).
Among the items discussed on this week’s podcast:
- Aaron Nola appears to be fully operational and back to his “good” self!
- Adam Haseley has already earned a promotion, three days into his pro career!
- The second half still is yet to be played, and good things can still happen to make us feel better about 2018 and the future.
- Meghan Montemurro discusses the eye-opening performance of Kingery since being promoted to AAA
- The differences between Crawford and Kingery, now that they’re playing next to each other, is startling.
- Rhys Hoskins continues to mash and will be called up once Tommy Joseph is moved (if possible)
- Who is the team’s top prospect, if it is no longer Crawford?
- Sixto Sanchez is the prospect with the highest pitching upside, and could turn out to be a legitimate stud ace.
- Mark Appel has had a nice bounceback season so far... can he keep it up?
- The trade deadline is approaching, which veterans will be moved, and how much can we get for them?
- Will any of the younger players, like Joseph, Cesar Hernandez, Odubel Herrera, etc., be moved?
- How aggressive will the Phillies be in trying to find new homes for some of those guys?
- Where do Phils veterans rank among Jon Heyman’s Top 96 trade targets for next month?
- Should the Phillies be looking to buy (trade for) good young starting pitching?
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