J.P. Crawford turned 22 on Tuesday. His present from the Phillies? A invitation to Florida to participate in Major League Spring Training.
Philadelphia's No. 1 prospect is one of three ranked Phillies farmhands to receive a non-roster invite to Spring Training, along with No. 12 and No. 13 prospects Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery. Fellow top prospects Nick Williams (No. 3), Dylan Cozens (No. 7) and Roman Quinn (No. 8) are already on the Phillies' 40-man roster.
Crawford is ranked as MLB.com's No. 2 overall prospect, behind White Sox infielder Yoan Moncada, despite struggling through his first month at Triple-A Lehigh Valley after a late May promotion. Crawford, who hit .265/.398/.390 in 36 games at Double-A Reading last season, was batting .169/.278/.193 in his first 22 games with the IronPigs before enjoying a breakout game on June 15 once he was able to "relax" at the plate. Including that game, he hit .269 with four home runs and five stolen bases in his final 65 games at Triple-A before undergoing knee surgery on September 16.
Hoskins was jockeying for the Minor League home run crown with Fightin Phils teammate Cozens, eventually falling two short with 38 long balls. He finished with an impressive .281/.377/.566 line, 116 RBIs and eight stolen bases to follow an impressive .913 OPS for Class A Lakewood and Class A Advanced Clearwater in 2015.
Kingery was overshadowed by his powerful teammates once he joined the Fightin Phils, but the second baseman had a quietly productive season with Clearwater and Reading, producing a .281/.335/.388 line, 76 runs scored and 30 stolen bases in 37 attempts. The 2015 second-round pick's production fell off in his 37 games with Reading, but the Phillies are intrigued by his advanced approach at the plate and he has the athletic ability to form a nice double-play combination with Crawford.
Others invited to Major League Spring Training including right-handers Victor Arano, Pedro Beato, Dalier Hinojosa, Michael Mariot and Colton Murray, left-handers Cesar Ramos and Sean Burnett, catchers Bryan Holaday, Logan Moore and Chace Numata, infielders Taylor Featherston, Brock Stassi, Pedro Florimon and Hector Gomez and outfielders Cam Perkins, Andrew Pullin and Daniel Nava.