- Full name Brandon Michael Crawford
- Born 01/21/1987 in Mountain View, CA
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 223 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School UCLA
- Debut 05/27/2011
Drafted in the 4th round (117th overall) by the San Francisco Giants in 2008 (signed for $375,000).
View Draft ReportCrawford sparkled as one of the best players in the nation during his freshman and sophomore seasons. His march toward the top half of the draft has not gone well, however, starting last summer, when he hit just .189 in the Cape Cod League. His junior year has been disappointing, as has that of preseason No. 1 UCLA, which was flirting with .500. Crawford has used several different stances at bat, searching for a solution. While he has average raw power, Crawford doesn't make enough contact to get to it and had struck out in 27 percent of his at-bats. His problems at the plate have him profiling as a utility player, and some scouts have criticized his energy level. His best tools are his speed, defense and plus arm. He shows advanced playmaking ability at short and is particularly adept at charging slow hoppers and making the throw on the run.
Organization Prospect Rankings
A Bay Area native who grew up a Giants fan, Crawford has the tools to star at shortstop but continues to be plagued by inconsistency at the plate. He has hit just .250/.313/.369 in parts of two seasons in Double-A. Breaking his right hand last July, when he was hit by a liner during batting practice, didn't help. He returned to help San Jose win the California League playoffs, hitting two crucial homers in the finals. Crawford's athleticism and awareness make him a potential Gold Glove shortstop, though he's not as gifted as Ehire Adrianza. He makes plays with plus range, a solid arm and smart positioning. Crawford opens eyes with his opposite-field power, but has yet to show he'll make enough consistent contact to be a big league regular. Coaches worked with him in instructional league to eliminate his leg kick and give him a different timing mechanism, hoping to improve his balance and keep his head on the ball longer. He has solid speed and good instincts but won't be a prolific basestealer. The Giants kept Crawford in big league camp longer than they kept Buster Posey, hoping it would help him be ready to take over as their shortstop in 2011 after Edgar Renteria's contract expired. Crawford's bat isn't ready to make that leap, and he'll probably open the season in Triple-A instead.
Considered a potential first-rounder for the 2008 draft, Crawford slid to the fourth round after a disappointing Cape Cod League and lukewarm junior season. He played just five games in his pro debut, then jumped to high Class A to begin 2009, destroying Cal League pitching and earning a promotion to Double-A after barely a month. An allaround talent, Crawford has a good blend of skills and field awareness. His positioning and first-step quickness allow him to make tough plays look easy. He's solid around the bag and has an accurate arm. Even when he struggled against Double-A pitching, it didn't affect his defense. He has the potential to hit 15-20 homers a year and shows power to the opposite field. His slightly above-average speed plays even better on the bases. Double-A pitchers fed Crawford a lot of breaking balls and he had trouble adjusting. Coaches didn't want to overwhelm him in his first full season, but he'll need to adjust the position of his feet and head to handle stuff on the inner half. Crawford might not have the bat control to be a No. 2 hitter in the big leagues, but he's gifted enough to make contributions in the lower third of the lineup. The Giants would be thrilled if he develops along the lines of J.J. Hardy.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive Infielder in the San Francisco Giants in 2010