MLB draft 2022: Phillies 1st-round pick Justin Crawford gives self scouting report

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Phillies' top pick gives self scouting report, unfortunately can't recall 2008 originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Justin Crawford doesn't remember much about the 2008 World Series, but he gets a pass.

Want to feel old? The Phillies' first-round pick was four years old when the 2008 postseason ended with the Phils beating the Tampa Bay Rays, a team led by Justin's father, Carl.

"It's tough for me to remember because I was so young," he said Sunday night after the Phillies selected him 17th overall. "I vividly remember I threw out the first pitch in the postseason, I don't think it was in the World Series.

"But I know Phillies fans are amazing, you show a lot of love for the team and that's awesome."

Good first answer, kid.

Crawford is an 18-year-old, left-handed-hitting center fielder whose best skills at this point are his speed and defense. The Phillies think he will not only stick in center but be an above-average fielder there.

The big question with Crawford and just about any non-pitching prospect is whether he'll hit. Crawford (6-3/175) hasn't yet grown into his body and developed big power but the Phillies like where his bat is currently.

"I wouldn't describe him as raw in any way," Phillies scouting director Brian Barber said Sunday night. "I think the bat is advanced and he's hit against high-level competition during the summer. The power is developing, would probably be the last thing for him to come and will require him to put in work as far as getting stronger."

Crawford is eager to get to Clearwater and begin a strength training program with the Phillies that could unlock some more pop.

Neither Crawford nor Barber thinks his game is so much like his dad's. Barber says the younger Crawford is a better defender at this stage, and Justin happily opined that he's faster.

"I think I have a high IQ for the game," he said. "I take a lot of pride in that and I thank my dad a lot for that."

He also credits pops for convincing him at an early age to hit from the left side.

"I was actually a righty when I first started playing baseball and my dad would always force me to go from the left side," Crawford said. "I do everything else right-handed except hit so I'm glad that's a change I made."

Shortly after the Phils drafted Crawford out of Las Vegas powerhouse Bishop Gorman HS, fellow Nevadan Bryce Harper sent him a shoutout via Instagram. Harper, Crawford said, came to a few of his high school games.

The newest member of the Phillies' organization expected to hear soon from his cousin, J.P., drafted in the first round by the Phillies nine years earlier and eventually traded to Seattle for Jean Segura.

"I haven't been able to talk to him yet, my phone's kind of blowing up," he said. "But I know I'll get on the phone with him later and he'll have some nice advice."

An LSU commit, Crawford sidestepped a question about signing but Barber expressed confidence that a deal will get done. The slot value of the 17th pick is just under $3.8 million.

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