Seattle Mariners “My Guy” Series: Shortstop J.P. Crawford
We continue our “My Guy” series with a look at the Mariners Shortstop of the future (hopefully).
To be honest, this is a difficult pick. Digging through his history, he has proven to be, well…unproductive in the Majors. His slash for the 72 games he has played is .214/.333/.358/.692. Another thing that stings the heart for us Mariners fans is that he was brought to us by the Jean Segura trade. Jean is undoubtedly a better player. At the time of writing this, Craw is only batting .188, hitting 3 for 16 in Spring Training.
However, coming over to a new league in a different part of the country might help J.P. develop to his full potential. I have to keep reminding myself that Jerry Dipoto was put in his role for a reason and therefore must trust the process of shaking things up and continual improvement.
So, why is he, my guy? Well, for one, he looks great in a Seattle Mariners’ uniform.
In 2016, he was listed as Philadelphia’s #1 prospect and #3 overall which gives me hope for the upcoming season. Not to mention, he just turned 24 and he is now in his physical prime for the game. Defensively, he is an above-average shortstop who, I believe, has the potential to be in the Mariners’ starting lineup for the next five to seven years.
On an offensive note, he only grounds into double plays 8.3% of the time the double play is available. The MLB average is just under 11%. This shows that his speed may play a factor when it comes to lineup placement and potentially scoring runs. I would expect to see J.P. at the bottom of the lineup to be a potential second lead-off hitter ahead of Dee Gordon.
In an interview with ESPN Seattle, the Mariners’ Director of Analytics, Jesse Smith stated,
"“There are many things to like about J.P. Crawford. He’s been a consensus industry top prospect for years. I imagine the reason a lot of people had him as part of their ideas is because of context…So that presents an opportunity to maybe go somewhere else where a team will give him a longer leash and really see what we have. I know some of the reaction to that trade was not extremely positive right off the bat. His stats don’t exactly jump off the page, but underlying it there’s just a really solid base there.”"
He added, “I think if you were to say we could have J.P. Crawford a year ago, two years ago, the fan base would be jumping for joy, but in the industry and just as fans, we tend to get impatient with players. We say they’re the next great thing and then it doesn’t happen for them the next year so we write them off.
If you just look at this guy, not much has changed. From what I saw in his recent track record, there’s really not any huge negatives to suggest that it’s not working out. It’s just been slowed by context, injury, opportunity.”
Since my day job deals with numbers and analytics, I caution to the side of what is evident. The keyword that should be synonymous with J.P. is “potential.” I believe he has tons of it. Plus, his Twitter is flooded with dog photos, which gives another reason for him to be “My Guy.”