On Tuesday, Keith Law called the Phillies' 2013 draft one of the best in all of baseball and ranked their farm system 14th overall. On Wednesday, he included three Phillies prospects in his annual preseason top-100.
J.P. Crawford, the Phils' 2013 meal ticket, checked in at No. 46.
"The Phillies may have just nabbed an impact player in the middle of the diamond," Law wrote. "The Phils aren't afraid of slow-development guys, which Crawford appeared to be as a physically immature player who had present speed and some feel to hit.
"For these reasons his performance in the Gulf Coast League was surprising -- he finished second in the league in OBP and walked as often as he struck out, all while playing above-average defense at shortstop."
Crawford hit .345 with a .443 on-base percentage in 168 plate appearances with the Gulf Coast League Phillies. He earned a promotion to Class-A Lakewood, where he hit .208 with seven walks and 10 strikeouts in 60 plate appearances.
He was believed to be the top SS of the 2013 draft class and he certainly looked like it in his first brief year in professional baseball.
Crawford was the only Phils prospect to make Law's top-50. Maikel Franco came in at No. 63, and Jesse Biddle was No. 77.
Law on Franco: "While his recognition of off-speed stuff is poor, he has enough hand-eye coordination to foul off some of those pitches and keep himself alive to hunt for another fastball. His hands get very high and deep, and between that and his raw strength he has at least grade-65 power, although he doesn't always get to it between that deep load and inconsistent hip rotation.
"Franco's main problem right now is position; he is a poor defender at third, a well below-average runner with thick lower legs whose first step was too slow for the position, although he has a 70 or so arm."
The overall assessment? "[Franco's] an everyday player as a first baseman who should hit .290 or so with a low OBP but 25-30 homers a year, which might get him into the occasional All-Star game along the way."
Law sees Biddle as a No. 3 starter with the potential to be better. He was impressed by the swinging strikes the lefty's fastball induced, and noted that left-handed batters struggle to pick up his slow hook. Law says his changeup needs work, and Biddle said that himself in the Phillies' clubhouse two weeks ago.
"I'm definitely gonna have to ask about Cole Hamels' changeup," Biddle said. "He's got an amazing changeup, one that I've admired for a long time, and I know if mine could be a little bit more like that it would definitely help me."