JPC
Photo: MLB

#3

SS

J.P. Crawford

John Paul Crawford

Height: 6'2"    Weight: 199

Bats/Throws: Left / Right

Born: 01/11/1995 in Long Beach, California

Offseason home: Peoria, Arizona

Nickname: Crawdaddy

Acquired: In trade from the Philadelphia Phillies, with Carlos Santana, for Jean Segura, James Pazos, and Juan Nicasio (12/03/2018)

MLB Debut: 09/05/2017

Free Agent after: 2024 season

Twitter handle: @jp_crawford

J.P. made some big strides forward in 2020. Not only did he win his first Gold Glove award for his defensive play at shortstop, he also improved with the bat, particularly against left-handed pitching. A .242 average vs. LHP might not look like anything to brag about, but when you consider his career average before last year was .144, it's plenty notable. He's still got a ways to go to achieve what many think he's capable of; in the minor leagues, he showed a great deal more plate discipline with on-base percentages around 100 points higher than his batting average at all levels, and whether it's due to the challenge of the higher talent level of Major League pitchers or contamination from a more homer-happy Mariners hitting philosophy (or both), his walk rate with Seattle has been just 10%, resulting in a precipitous drop in that figure. The 26-year-old Crawford hit the weight room this offseason and added about ten pounds of muscle to his 6'2" frame hoping to generate more extra-base hits this year. That's all well and good, but it would be a mistake to start swinging for the fences. Part of J.P.'s improvement last season came from reducing his K rate (16.8% in 2020 after 21% in 2019), and strikeouts will only go up if he starts looking for homers. Fortunately, he seems aware of this and cites the increased strength as a means of getting better bat speed with a shorter swing rather than a more powerful long one “I'm already feeling quicker and getting to balls quicker than I have in recent years,” Crawford said. “So I'm really excited to get going, for sure.”

Meanwhile, regardless of what he does with the stick, we can look forward to plenty of stellar plays like these in the field.

TH, 3/16/21