Phils go high school shortstop in first round

Lakewood High School in Southern California should probably change their nickname to Phillies. After all, they have become a pipeline to the Phillies organization and for the second year in a row, the Phillies took a Lakewood player with their first pick in the draft.

First, there was catcher Travis D'Arnaud and that was followed up by Shane Watson last season. Now, the Phillies have taken Lakewood High School's J.P. Crawford with the 16th overall pick in the draft.

Crawford, a shortstop, is the cousin of Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford.

There weren't a lot of high-level middle infield prospects available in this year's draft and the Phillies didn't want to miss out. Most scouts believe that Crawford will be able to stay at shortstop as he progresses through the minor league system.

Offensively, Crawford is a contact hitter who can hit the ball to all fields. He needs to develop some consistency with his swing, but has good size and a strong core. It's not likely that Crawford will ever develop much power, with having average power the best case scenario.

Crawford has good, but not overwhelming speed. He does have good instincts on the bases, which always helps.

Defensively, Crawford has good, smooth movements in the field and a plus arm that is strong and accurate.

The consensus is that Crawford could take a little time to get going in the minors and has some rough spots to smooth out, but he could well be worth the wait.


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