Lakewood High School alumnus begins to shine in the big leagues
Although the MLB season is only a few weeks old, the Philadelphia Phillies have managed to surprise some people. One of the Phillies’ young stars is the pride of Lakewood High School, JP Crawford.
In his first full season with the Phillies, Crawford struggled in his first seven games at the plate, collecting only one hit. Through the first week of the season, Crawford had a .043 batting average before the Phillies gave him a day off. They told him to “work on some things,” and now, he has been hot since being placed in the starting lineup.
Crawford is now hitting .385 with five hits in his last 13 at-bats and says he feels more comfortable at the plate after being benched to clear his head. Two of those five hits were home runs, one of which was his first career home run that was hit off of Cincinnati Reds right-hand pitcher Luis Castillo.
Crawford, 23, was the 16th overall pick by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2013 MLB entry draft out of high school. In September 2017, Crawford was called up from triple-A to get his first taste of big league action. After the Phillies traded shortstop Freddy Galvis to the San Diego Padres, it cleared the way for Crawford to make his mark. Many believe the Phillies are still in the middle of rebuilding their organization – but don’t tell that to Crawford.
“We are going to be really good, we have a bunch of young guys,” Crawford said. “We are all 25, 26 or younger and if we get some quality pitching, we are going to have a good shot to go far.”
The Phillies added some veteran help this offseason by signing first baseman Carlos Santana from the Cleveland Indians and right-hand pitcher Jake Arrieta from the Chicago Cubs. These veterans go along with young players Maikel Franco, Aaron Nola and Lakewood’s own Crawford. The Phillies also made a managerial change this offseason by signing first-year manager Gabe Kapler.
The Phillies have jumped out to a 9-5 record and only trail the first place New York Mets by three games in the National League East. This week, they will face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates at home before the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves come to town.