Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis
Justin Crawford
The Phillies used the 17th overall pick in the MLB draft on Sunday to select Justin Crawford, a speedy and athletic center fielder with an impressive family pedigree from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. 

The left-handed hitting 18-year-old is the son of former four-time All-Star outfielder Carl Crawford. At 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds, scouts believe he has time to fill out a bit more as his body matures. For now, speed is considered his best tool. 

“I really don’t like to do comparisons because I don’t think they’re very fair to, obviously, the younger player,” said Brian Barber, the Phillies’ director of amateur scouting. “But the biggest comparison would be [Justin and Carl] both run really fast. Really, beyond that, I think there are a lot of differences to their games. 

“And obviously, no offense to Carl, who was a superstar in the major leagues for a long time, but I would think Justin is a lot more advanced defensively than Carl was at that time. Carl was probably more physical than Justin is at this point." 

Crawford is an LSU commit, but signability isn't a concern. The slot value for the 17th pick is $3,792,800. 

The Crawford selection marks the third straight year the Phillies have drafted a high school player in the middle of the first round. The club drafted pitcher Andrew Painter with the 13th selection last year and hurler Mick Abel with the 15th pick in 2020. 

The Phillies drafted a trio of outfielders with their first-round picks between 2015 to 2017 - Cornelius Randolph, Mickey Moniak, and Adam Haseley - but none have panned out. Randolph and Haseley are no longer with the club, and Moniak has a career .129 average over 93 at bats spanning parts of the three seasons. 

Barber is hopeful things will be different with Crawford. 

"I wouldn't describe him as raw in any way," Barber said. "I think the bat is advanced and he's hit against high-level competition during the summer. The power is developing. It would probably be the last thing for him to come, and will require him to put in work as far as getting stronger. I've been able to speak to Justin personally and he knows that it's one of his priorities when he gets to pro baseball." 

Crawford hit .503 with 17 doubles, eight triples, and five homers during his senior season at Bishop Gorman. He drove in 52 runs, stole 20 bags, and whiffed just seven times. 

“That’s been one of our biggest goals,” Crawford said. “It’s to be as polished as I can be. Not have to rely on just my raw athleticism. It’s something that can take me a long way.” 

Asked when he intends to visit Philadelphia, Crawford shook his head and grinned. 

"I want to be there soon," he said. "I'm ready to go, and it's going to be a lot of fun."

13 stars

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Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis