Crawford, Cozens sink 'Claws into 'Hoppers

Philly prospects collect four hits apiece, but hosts walk off with win

Speedy shortstop J.P. Crawford had 13 extra-base hits in 53 games in 2013. (Ken Inness/

By Jake Seiner / | April 8, 2014 1:22 AM ET

Philadelphia prospects J.P. Crawford and Dylan Cozens did plenty for Lakewood on Monday night, but Greensboro survived every challenge.

Crawford collected his first full-season homer and four-hit game, while Cozens amassed a career-high four hits. Even after Crawford's 11th-inning solo shot, though, the Class A BlueClaws fell to the Grasshoppers, 10-9.

Following Crawford's blast, Greensboro plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the 11th for a walk-off victory. After loading the bases, the Grasshoppers got an infield single from Miami's No. 11 prospect Avery Romero, then won the game on first baseman Feliz Munoz's bases-juiced walk.

Crawford, Philadelphia's first-round pick (16th overall) in the 2013 Draft, put the BlueClaws ahead, 9-8, with the second homer of the 19-year-old's pro career. That gave him a career-high four runs in the game.

The Lakewood leadoff man began the game with a ground-ball single that deflected off the pitcher Sean Townsley's glove and rolled to shortstop Javier Lopez too late for a play. His next hit was a double driven into center field in the third, and he followed that by dropping a single into the left side in the fifth.

The speedy shortstop scored after two of those hits, then plated a third after being hit by a pitch in the sixth and his fourth on the homer. The runs were the first four of the season for the Lakewood leadoff man.

The Phillies' No. 3 prospect earned above-average marks for his hitting, speed, arm and defense from The site's prospect team noted he has "an outstanding arm and excellent range and his feel for the game makes his already-sharp defensive tools play up even more."

Offensively, Crawford was stellar in his professional debut last summer, hitting .345 in 39 Rookie-level Gulf Coast League contests. The shortstop added a homer and eight doubles while swiping 12 bases for the GCL Phillies. His walk and strikeout rates both clocked in at an impressive 14.9 percent and he posted a .443 on-base percentage.

Crawford's only other four-hit game was on July 6, 2013 against the GCL Yankees. The infielder has hit safely in each of his first four games with Lakewood.

Cozens, Philadelphia's No. 10 prospect, tied a career high with three RBIs -- last achieved on Aug. 23, 2013 with short-season Williamsport. The right fielder drove in a pair of key runs in the sixth.

The 6-foot-6, 235-pound outfielder is notable for his raw power, hitting nine homers and posting a .469 slugging percentage with Williamsport last season. rated his power a 55 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale, noting "Cozens' raw power is the tool that stands out the most and he can hit it out to all fields."

The outfielder struck out in 23.5 percent of his plate appearances during his first two pro seasons. Despite fanning seven times in his first four games -- including once Monday -- the 19-year-old is hitting .400 through 20 at-bats.

Lakewood right-hander Ranfi Casimiro made his first full-season start. He didn't allow a hit over his first four frames, but the 6-foot-8 21-year-old was roughed up for four earned runs on four hits in the fifth. 

Miami's No. 20 prospect Austin Dean finished 3-for-5 with two doubles, a walk, an RBI and a run.

Jake Seiner is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter at @Jake_Seiner. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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