With each month in the Minor Leagues, J.P. Crawford has found a way to improve. Judging by the way he's started August, Florida State League pitchers should be wary of what's to come by season's end.
The Phillies' top prospect added a multi-homer game to his impressive resume Friday night as Class A Advanced Clearwater held on for an 8-7 over Daytona at Bright House Field.
"I felt real good, seeing the ball real well tonight, felt really comfortable at the plate," Crawford said. "I just stuck with my plan, same approach."
The 19-year-old shortstop has been working with Threshers hitting coach Frank Cacciatore for the past couple days. The results showed against the Cubs.
"My hitting coach has helped me come up with a plan," Crawford said. "We were just working on swinging through the ball and not pulling off. ... I'm just working on using my hands more, not trying to do so much with my body."
MLB.com's No. 35 overall prospect collected a single and two solo homers to raise his August average to .357. After his base knock in the first, Crawford saw an opportunity to nab his 19th stolen base.
"We had the lead and I got a good read off the pitcher, so I went," he said. "It gets us out of a double-play situation and puts me in scoring position."
In the third, Crawford belted his first homer in 82 at-bats. And after striking out his third time up, he sent a pitch from reliever Nathan Dorris over the right-field fence to cap the Threshers' six-run seventh.
"I was just trying to get on base, like in the first at-bat, not trying to do too much. ... It felt really good that I finally connected to the ball," the California native said of his first homer. "I had all my family out today, so they were all cheering for me."
Since he's from California, Crawford doesn't get to see familiar faces in the crowd too often in the Florida State League. But his father, Larry, along with paternal relatives from Miami, was on hand to see his son's first career two-homer game.
The 16th overall pick in last year's Draft, began the season with Class A Lakewood, where he batted .295 with 19 RBIs in 60 games to earn a promotion. While many players struggle to adjust at a new level, Crawford is hitting .304 in his last 22 games to get his FSL average up to .282.
"I think I adjusted pretty good," he said. "The pitching was a lot different in A-ball; it took me a few weeks to develop. I'm learning more every day about the game, about this league and the pitchers in this league."
Brian Pointer and Angelo Mora also smacked solo shots for the Threshers, who bounced back from Thursday's 18-2 loss and earned a split of the four-game series.
Clearwater starter Jordan Guth yielded two runs -- one earned -- on four hits while striking out six before turning the ball over to Cody Forsythe with two outs in the sixth. Forsythe (2-3) spun 2 1/3 scoreless frames to pick his first win since July 8. After Lee Ridenhour gave up five runs on four hits in the ninth, Ulises Joaquin got the last out for his fourth save.