The Phillies on Thursday used their earliest first-round pick in over a decade to draft high school shortstop J.P. Crawford, who was thought to be the best middle-infielder in a rather weak draft.
Crawford is the cousin of Carl, though the Dodgers' outfielder reportedly didn't know of their relation until very recently. J.P. Crawford hit .452 as a senior at Lakewood HS (Calif.), which is the same high school that produced 2012 Phillies draft pick Shane Watson and 2007 draftee Travis D'Arnaud.
ESPN's Keith Law wrote earlier this week that Crawford is “the only shortstop in the draft class who has a better than even chance to stay at the position long-term, even though he's raw in several areas of the game and may be a slow developer in the minors.”
MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo calls Crawford's speed average, and both relay scouts' concerns about his hit tool and slight frame.
The drafting of Crawford continues the Phillies' trend of drafting a high school project with their first pick. Not since Joe Savery in 2007 have they taken a college player with their first choice.
With the 53rd overall pick, the Phillies took switch-hitting catcher Andrew Knapp from the University of California. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Knapp projects to be a player that hits for average and power, but reports from scouts indicate that he has some development to go behind the plate.
In other news, the big club won its fifth-straight game on Thursday. The Phillies are hitting .280 and averaging 6.4 runs over their win streak, and have a 2.11 team ERA. They also have their first 11-game home run streak since September 2008.