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J.P. Crawford “Certain” to Be Promoted in September

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After saving his season, the long-time top prospect is on the cusp of a Big League debut

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at Baltimore Orioles Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Death, taxes, and J.P. Crawford inhabiting a top-five spot in Phillies prospect rankings. That’s what “certainty” has looked like over the past few seasons amid anything but certainty at the Major League level over the same time. Now, after resuscitating a once-dead season and injecting new life into his future with the Phillies, it seems that J.P. Crawford is indeed on the doorstep of a Major League promotion.

That exciting bit of news comes courtesy of Todd Zolecki, who buried the line item in his column Monday.

Mackanin said he is not certain which players will be promoted once rosters expand, but Triple-A shortstop J.P. Crawford, the club's No. 4 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, is certain to be one of them. Mackanin is also hoping for more pitching help and a third catcher with Andrew Knapp (broken right hand) ... not close to a return.

Oooooo!

The gears of this machine started turning more vigorously when Crawford and dirt devil second baseman Scott Kingery started playing different positions down in Lehigh Valley, with Crawford getting starts at 2B and 3B while Kingery played one at SS. Both moves feel only temporary, installed as a means of allowing stopgap defensive flexibility to allow Crawford to slot into the Phillies lineup and for Kingery to fill in at Lehigh when Hector Gomez needs a night off, or something (Kingery’s own call-up to the Show is far less of a formality for 2017).

Crawford has slowed a bit since his two-plus-month hot streak resurrected hopes and dreams of his Big League potential, mired in an eight-game drought and three-week homerless dry spell, but he’s still working counts, drawing walks and, so the story goes, adapting to his new defensive positions ably.

Our minds turn, then, to thoughts of what kinds of lineups one might happen to see on a given September night at Citizens Bank Park soon. How does something like this strike you?

  1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
  2. Odubel Herrera, CF
  3. Aaron Altherr, LF
  4. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
  5. Nick Williams, RF
  6. Freddy Galvis, SS
  7. J.P. Crawford, 3B
  8. Jorge Alfaro, C

The Zolecki column does go on to note that Pete Mackanin considers Odubel and Altherr known commodities, to an extent, and being able to fit more PAs for both Hoskins and incumbent Tommy Joseph down the stretch may come at their expense. Not necessarily ideal, but both Odubel and A-A-Ron have been banged up and there’s no sense in keeping the pedal to the metal now.

If Crawford’s ascension is indeed “certain,” the prospect of September (pun wholly intended) just got that much more intriguing.