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International League Top 20 Prospects

By Will Kimmey
September 27, 2002

Carl Crawford
Photo: Michael Walby
1. Carl Crawford, of, Durham Bulls (Devil Rays)
Crawford has flashed all five tools at times, and his best two are his speed and ability to hit for a high average. As one of the youngest players in the IL, he jumped out to a hot start, hitting .350 through early June. He has shown the ability to make adjustments at the plate, though he still needs to hang in better against lefties.

He possesses explosive speed but still needs to work on reading pitchers and getting better jumps to become more of a basestealing threat. If he can learn to draw walks, he'll become a prototypical leadoff man.

Crawford can really run down balls in the outfield, but may play left field because his arm is below average. Durham manager Bill Evers did say Crawford threw better than expected and has improved his accuracy.

"He can be a very special player," Evers said. "He should hit a few more homers the older he gets, and he won't have too many long slumps with his speed. And he can bunt."

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