crawford was called up way ahead of schedule last year and had to learn to hit big league pitching on the fly while playing top defensive position. It would be boise to look at his offensive trajectory rather than his stats in toto. He hit much better as the season went on.
I’ve taken more than just a quick peek at Crawford’s numbers and while he hit for a better average in 2012 than in 2011, it took him over 200 more PA to eke out one more home run and he declined in both walk rate and strikeout rate. His month to month in 2012 shows me sub-mediocre offensive numbers for the first four months, a decent August relative to his other unhelpful totals and then a good September where the Giants not only clinched early which takes off a heaping amount of pressure, but also played against zero playoff contenders, all of whom were auditioning a boatload of youngsters from the minors….except L.A. who was fielding the All-Underachieving All Star Team. No matter what miniscule sliver of improvement people want to split hairs to see, Crawford will not be helping any fantasy teams in the near future.
Comment by Howard Bender — November 7, 2012 @ 4:06 pm
24 is not “ahead of schedule” for likely major league starters.
I disagree completely. It is just way too soon to make a call on Brandon Crawford’s ceiling. I have good cronies, er, I mean, friends in the Giants farm system and they assure me he still has a chance to win a Silver Slugger Award. Trust me.
Uh, did I say I was going to draft him for my fantasy team or recommend anyone else do it?
Look, you can read whatever numbers you want. I watched most of his games last year including the postseason. He grew noticeably as a hitter. His monthly splits correlate with that observed improvement. I believe, given his age and level of experience that we will continue to see improvement over the next 2-3 seasons. How much improvement obviously remains to be seen.
Slick fielding, no bat shortstops don’t have a place in fantasy, and I don’t see much evidence in Crawford’s minor league numbers to suggest he’ll improve.
However, Crawford is guaranteed a great deal of playing time at the major league level because of his glove. While the hit tool is mostly rooted in talent, it’s still a skill and like all skills, experience can help harness it. Most field first players are not going to get the consistent playing time necessary for them to develop their hitting. With enough PAs, I could imagine Crawford could improving to something serviceable in crowded leagues.