May 28, 2023

Phillies grab Justin Crawford in amateur draft with seventeenth overall pick


Eric Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal

The Phillies, the owners of seventeenth overall pick in Major League Baseball’s 2022 amateur draft, selected Justin Crawford as their only pick on night one of the three-night 20-round draft.

Justin Crawford, the son of former major-league star Carl Crawford, graduated from Bishop Gorman high school in Las Vegas. Crawford has excellent bat-to-ball skills and is one of the most athletic players in his draft class. Similarly to his dad, he has the potential to be a Gold Glover in centerfield, and he could add more power to as swing as he develops.

Justin, who is just 18 years old, had a .503 batting average in his senior year in high school. He bats from the left side of the dish and has the ability to take the ball the other way. Most of his power, though, is the pull side. He has a small leg kick and keeps the barrel of the bat in the hitting zone throughout his entire swing, explaining the elite bat-to-ball skills.

His 60-yard dash time of 6.11 seconds puts him well above the ninety-ninth percentile (99.92%), allowing him to cover a lot of ground in centerfield.

With the trade deadline approaching, what does this pick mean fore the future of the Phils?

It is unlikely that we will trade Crawford, so where does this leave Johan Rojas? Rojas—a top prospect in the Phillies organization—has been hitting for average, speeding around the bases, and tracking down everything hit his way in centerfield for the double-A Phillies.

It is unlikely that the Phillies will hang onto two highly-regarded centerfielders, so could Rojas to dealt at the deadline.

It is possible, and it is probable even likely

Rojas would be an attractive trade candidate for a team like the Marlins or Rangers, who are on the back nine of their rebuild. He could be major-league ready by the end of 2023, and he will be a valuable piece to a team even if he does not adjust to major-league pitching right after his call-up.

The Phillies do not have a second-round selection, so their next pick will be number 93.

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