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Road to The Show™: Giants’ Crawford

Club's No. 8 prospect seeing early results as he focuses on pitching
Reggie Crawford has pitched 26 total innings since his professional debut on the mound last year. (Jerry Kime/
May 7, 2024

Each week, profiles an elite prospect by chronicling the steps he's taken toward achieving his Major League dream. Here's a look at Giants prospect Reggie Crawford, who will be spotlighted each month as a Nationwide Road to The Show "featured player" in 2024. For more stories about players on

Each week, profiles an elite prospect by chronicling the steps he's taken toward achieving his Major League dream. Here's a look at Giants prospect Reggie Crawford, who will be spotlighted each month as a Nationwide Road to The Show "featured player" in 2024. For more stories about players on The Road to The Show, click here.

Under a different set of circumstances, Reggie Crawford might still be actively exploring the development track of a two-way player.

The Giants afforded that opportunity to Crawford, who had both a 70-grade fastball and “plus raw power” written into his MLB Pipeline scouting report last year. But as injuries wreaked havoc on his developmental timeline, the 23-year-old made the decision to move to the mound full time – at least for now.

The 6-foot-4 southpaw gets great extension from his large frame, which makes his mid-to-high 90s fastball much harder to hit. The Giants’ No. 8 prospect also wields a pretty devastating power slider, which can hang in the upper-80s and his changeup, still in development, has some intriguing fade and sink and was mostly unhittable as he added it into the mix in his first MiLB season last year.

Since his season debut, which was delayed until mid-April after he suffered a lat strain in camp that kept him out of the Giants’ Spring Breakout game, Crawford is finally seeing more consistent playing time out of the Double-A Richmond bullpen. So far, he’s completed seven innings, striking out 12, in five total outings, including one start.

Time has become a precious resource for Crawford, who is three years removed from his latest full season of action. Crawford underwent Tommy John surgery in the fall before the 2022 season at the University of Connecticut and did not play during his Draft year. He made his professional debut last year, but his appearances were capped at two innings and he was allotted just 17 at-bats between starts.

A difficult season as a hitter in the Arizona Fall League last year was a humbling reminder that he was more than two years removed from getting consistent at-bats.

“We’re going to try to figure out how we’re going to plan out [batting practice] a couple of times a week, but the primary focus is pitching,” Crawford told in February.

“There was a point in time where I would have sacrificed time to get back to a spot in the box to where I felt comfortable. But I sat down and thought about it for a few weeks, and I was like, ‘I’m not willing to sacrifice time anymore to get to that point, rather than just see what’s right in front of me and run with that.’ That was kind of the thought process going into it.”

The Lansdale, Pennsylvania, native was a star swimmer at North Schuylkill High School before he made a full-time commitment to baseball. He set a state record during his senior year in 2018, breaking a record set the previous year by a North Schuylkill alum that had swam in the Olympics. Crawford’s goal at the time was to join him for the next Games.

Although he was an excellent swimmer and had the attention from some larger Division I programs, the sport took a toll on him. In the summer before his senior year of high school, Crawford joined a travel baseball team and also started getting the attention of baseball scouts.

The Royals were among the clubs who liked what they saw, using a 37th-round pick to try and lure Crawford away from his UConn commitment, but to no avail.

Crawford’s first year with the Huskies was limited by the pandemic, but he still was named to Collegiate Baseball’s Freshman All-American team. He made just one pitching appearance but took 58 at-bats as a freshman, batting .365 with a .972 OPS over 13 games.

Crawford made up for lost time that summer while playing for the Westfield Starfires in the Futures Collegiate League. He made five appearances as a closer, recording three saves and 10 punchouts over 6 ⅓ innings. Crawford also batted .218 with a .626 OPS in 99 plate appearances.

The 2021 season was the latest without interruption for Crawford, and the one that displayed his potential as a first-round talent. Playing mostly as a first baseman, he led the Big East with 18 homers and 62 RBIs while posting a 2.35 ERA with 17 strikeouts over 7 ⅔ innings, spanning six appearances.

He continued to display his two-way prowess in the Cape Cod League and eventually the U.S. National team, before he eventually developed the elbow injury that required Tommy John.

He didn’t play at all for UConn during the 2022 season, but the Giants still believed in his ability to develop as a two-way talent and selected him with the No. 30 overall pick. Crawford signed for a below-slot bonus of $2.3 million and made his professional debut as a hitter in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League later that summer.

After being held in extended Spring Training at the start of the 2023 season, Crawford played his first California League game on May 24 as a hitter and his first MiLB pitching appearance for Single-A San Jose three days later.

He was promoted to High-A Eugene in July and remained on a cautious workload schedule, both as a hitter and a pitcher. Crawford completed 19 innings over 13 starts across both levels, compiling a .284 ERA with 32 strikeouts while holding opposing batters to a .214 average. At the plate, he batted .235 with a homer, two doubles and five RBIs.

That fall, Crawford got 58 extra at-bats with Scottsdale in the AFL. He batted just .138 with a pair of homers and eight RBIs.

Crawford has been strong as a reliever for the Flying Squirrels so far this season, holding opposing batters to a .120 average.

It’s still possible his workload could be built back up to that of a starter sometime in the future. MLB Pipeline sees a quick path to the Majors for him as a late-inning reliever.

Considering his power stuff, Crawford can make the most of his arsenal as a reliever, pitching one or two innings at a time, rather than as a starter where he’d have to keep some fuel in the tank for the later innings.

Gerard Gilberto is a reporter for