J.P. Crawford is in the midst of the best two-month period of his Triple-A career. (Frank Klose/SportsTalkPhilly)
Though Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton has the No. 1 spot on SportsCenter's Top 10 plays locked down tomorrow, Philadelphia Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford figures to be No. 2.
In this evening's game against the Norfolk Tides, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs shortstop made a fabulous play to his right, before managing to get enough on his throw to still make the out:
Crawford has always been viewed as a shortstop with high upside in the field, though he's failed to consistently put things together thus far as a fielder. This play demonstrates just how good the 22-year-old has a chance to be in the field.
This comes after a month of July in which the former first-round pick slashed .281/.389/.635 with a 1.025 OPS, 18 RBIs, 16 walks and eight home runs, one of which was one of the more unique inside-the-park Grand Slams that you'll ever see. For what it is worth, Crawford entered the evening hitting .308 through his first 26 at-bats in August, so he's remained hot this month.
The Phillies organization does love the incumbent shortstop Freddy Galvis, who has some pop and will be in the discussion again for a Gold Glove Award this season. However, Galvis' traditionally low batting average and on-base percentages mean that he projects more to be a super-utility player on a World Series contending team. He's also a free-agent after 2018, so prior to the end of next season, the Phillies are going to have to get an extended look at Crawford to figure out what they have.
For the time being, Crawford, more than a year after he was promoted to Triple-A, finally is beginning to flash the talent that made IronPigs manager Dusty Wathan suggest prior to the season that he could be an 'anchor to a very good era' for the Phillies.