Mark LoMoglio

Here's a scouting report on Tampa Yankees outfielder Rashad Crawford.

The Yankees acquired outfielder Rashad Crawford this past season as part of the Aroldis Chapman deal with the Chicago Cubs. Originally drafted in the 11th round of the 2012 MLB Draft, he has always been known as an athlete with a significant ceiling who needed to hone his baseball skills and that began happening this past season.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Rashad Crawford
Position: Outfielder
DOB: October 15, 1993
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 190
Bats: Left
Throws: Right

Batting and Power. Crawford, a two-sport athlete in high school who excelled at basketball too, is a quick-twitch athlete with very good bat speed and it's because of his quick bat and rather patient approach that leads many scouts to believe he could turn himself into a solid hitter for average someday.  The patience is not only getting better but so are the pitch recognition and plate discipline, and as a result his batting average remains on a steady upward trend.  He isn't a consistent all-field hitter just yet but he shows both a willingness and ability to employ a center to opposite field approach, and he it's because of his quick wrists that he's able to put a bit of a charge in his hits too.  He doesn't project to have much more than average power at best but, left-handed, his power could play a level higher as he continues to mature as a hitter.

Base Running and Speed. Where Crawford really excels is in the running game.  Not necessarily an elite base stealer yet -- he is still learning the nuances of reading pitchers' moves -- he is an elite station to station runner, a plus-plus runner who isn't shy about taking the extra base.  He has been averaging about 20-30 stolen bases per season at the minor league level but that doesn't tell nearly the whole story about his actual speed.  As he continues to mature as a hitter and get on base more frequently the sky is the limit to the damage he could do in the running game, he's that quick.

Defense. Given his great speed it is not surprising that Crawford is an excellent defensive player.  His range is second to none and while he still has some learning to do about various baseball situational plays he does have the incredible make-up speed to get to nearly anything.  His arm strength is more on the average side of things and it could force him over to left field eventually but it would be a Brett Gardner-like situation, one where the left fielder is elite range-wise and almost a defacto centerfielder.  He's a difference-maker in the field.

Projection. The book is not completely written on Crawford yet and it may not be for some time still, and that is where there is so much intrigue.  He has the great speed/defensive combination to safely project as a potential reserve outfielder, but with some untapped hitting potential and a bit more power in the tank too [especially the former] there is a growing chance he could tap his ceiling as a big league starting outfielder.  A little Angel Pagan-like in that regard, another outfielder who had a big league starting ceiling coming up through the minor leagues but projected best initially breaking in as a bench player because of fringy hitting and power, Crawford's game, as evidenced by his minor league OPS each year, is one which keeps slowly but steadily improving as he matures.  It will need to continue doing that to tap his rather significant ceiling. 

ETA. 2019. This upcoming season will be an important one for Crawford.  He needs to keep getting starting at-bats in the Yankees system to keep gaining experience and furthering his game, but in order to do that he will need to keep improving his numbers.  It's a real 'Catch-22' for him in that regard because if his game begins to stall somewhat he may not be able to get the at-bats he really needs. 

2016 Tampa .291 110 2 2 18 10 15 27 4 .381 .364 .745
2016 Myrtle Beach .255 329 18 3 30 59 33 73 22 .327 .386 .713
2015 South Bend .280 361 15 4 50 50 20 90 20 .322 .383 .704
2014 Boise .259 297 13 1 34 45 16 83 14 .297 .360 .657
2013 AZL Cubs .210 138 3 0 8 20 16 39 10 .299 .275 .575
2012 AZL Cubs .167 30 0 0 3 6 7 9 4 .324 .167 .491

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