J.P. Crawford was drafted by the Phillies in the 1st round of the 2013 draft, after batting .452 his senior year at Lakewood High School.
Since the draft, Crawford has made quick work of the minor leagues, thanks to his all around great gameplay that includes fantastic defense at shortstop.
Making it all the way up to Double-A in his second full professional season, Crawford recorded 6 homers and 42 RBI’s in 2015 to go along with a .380 OBP, and could very well make it to the big leagues in the very near future.
Crawford has already played in two futures games and is the bright spot at the top of a loaded Phillies farm system that looks to get them back into contention within the next few years.
J.P. Crawford — the number five prospect in all of baseball — took the time recently to answer some of my questions:
1.) At what age did you first become interested in baseball? Who was your biggest baseball influence growing up?
I became interested in baseball when I was about 4-5. My older sister was my biggest influence. We would always push each other to do better.
2.) Who was your favorite baseball player growing up? Why?
[Derek] Jeter and [Jimmy] Rollins were my favorites growing up because I played shortstop and my dad told me to watch how they respect the game.
3.) You were drafted by the Phillies in the 1st round of the 2013 draft. What was that moment like for you?
That moment was great. It was a moment I’ll never forget. Hearing your name called by the commissioner, and knowing your life is about to change. That moment really changed my life.
4.) You were selected to play in the Future’s Game in both 2014 and 2015. What was the experience like each time?
It was such an honor to be there to partake in those events; to play with future all-stars, future hall of famers. It was great.
5.) In 2015, you were promoted to Reading after 21 games due to a superb start of a .392 average. Following your promotion, what kind of adjustments did you find yourself having to make with the transition to Double-A?
In AA, the main thing was just staying with your plan, and not trying to do too much. [Also], the pitchers knew how to pitch a lot better.
6.) With the Phillies having struggled for the past few years, how confident are you that the crop of talent (yourself included) making their way towards the big leagues will help transform the Phillies back into a competitive club?
I think we’re going to make a huge impact in a couple years if all this goes as planned. We have a great group of guys who are really close and play great team ball.
7.) Striking out a mere 54 times in 430 at-bats last season, what type of approach do you take at the plate that enables you to make contact so consistently over the course of any given season?
It’s just staying with my plan. If the pitch is a pitch you don’t wanna hit, then I take it. With two strikes, [I] shorten up and put it in play.
8.) What do you feel went well in 2015? What are your goals for 2016?
I think everything went well last year just fell one game short [of the Championship]. But next year [my goals are] to just stay consistent and healthy, and whatever level I reach I’ll be happy and ready to help my team win.
9.) Favorite TV show? Favorite food?
The ‘Walking Dead’; my dad’s BBQ.
10.) Lastly, what advice would you give to kids who are just starting out that dream of playing professional baseball one day?
My advice would be to want to win — but have fun doing it!
Big thanks to J.P. Crawford for taking the time to answer my questions.
You can follow him on Twitter: @jp_crawford