Giants Prospect Reggie Crawford Continues to Have Two-Way Aspirations

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The San Francisco Giants drafted Reggie Crawford as a two-way player, and so far they’ve allowed the 30th-overall pick in the 2022 draft to continue to both pitch and swing the bat. How much longer that will be the case remains to be seen, with the forthcoming season likely going a long way toward determining an answer. To this point, Crawford has had scant opportunity to do either. Thanks largely to Tommy John surgery, the 6-foot-4, 235-pound University of Connecticut product has logged just 19 innings and 111 plate appearances (71 of them in the Arizona Fall League) since signing a professional contract.

Eric Longenhagen described the left-left hurler/first-baseman as “a prospect of extreme variance” and “still more a developmental project than anything else” when assigning him a 40+ FV midway through last summer. That both his hitting and pitching potential factor into our lead prospect analyst’s assessment makes Crawford arguably the most intriguing young player in the Giants’ pipeline. If he performs capably on both sides in 2024, he’ll be among the most intriguing young players in baseball.

Crawford discussed his two-way aspirations in the final week of the Arizona Fall League season.


David Laurila: To start, I’m interested in your thoughts on someone you’ve been playing against here in the Fall League. Carson Williams was highly regarded as a two-way player in high school, but has only played shortstop since Tampa Bay drafted him 28th overall in 2021. Could you see him succeeding at both in pro ball?

Reggie Crawford: “Oh, I’d imagine so. It just comes down to… I mean, for me the planning and the scheduling is probably the most difficult part. Someone who is that athletic and has those sets of tools, I don’t see why he wouldn’t be able to.”

Laurila: It’s something you feel you can do?

Crawford: “Yes. The reason I’m doing it is because I think I could do it as long as I want to. I’m just putting myself in the best position for success. That’s all I can do. Whatever the results look like is what they look like. I’m going to continue to give it my all, give it my best go.”

Laurila: When two-way players are told that they have to decide on one or the other, a primary reason given is the amount of developmental work it takes at either position; attempting both is impractical. Do you agree with that?

Crawford: “I honestly don’t think so. I mean, if you look at what pitchers do, they don’t throw for hours or anything like that. It’s about when you’re taking those reps, you’re making the most of them. You’re being aware of what your body is feeling and what you want it to feel. That’s the most important thing.”

Laurila: Is conditioning for pitchers and position players all that different?

Crawford: “I wouldn’t say so. For a pitcher and a hitter, there’s not much different other than one is throwing the pitch and other is trying to hit it.”

Laurila: What about the work that’s done in a pitching lab, and studying your swing — the hitting analytics, basically — in the cage? Those efforts take time.

Crawford: “You just have to pick and choose where you put your energy. Some people may be big numbers people, and some people may not be. So, learning yourself — what you can handle from the mental side — is the biggest piece. It’s having the information and kind of being able to cut the line on it. It might be, ‘This is too many numbers for me.’ Or maybe it’s, ‘I want a little more of the numbers.’”

Laurila: Are you big into the numbers?

Crawford: “Not really. Honestly, for me it comes down to results. I want to watch the game, see the game. As a pitcher, I want to see what hitters are doing against me, rather than be like, ‘All right, I struck a guy out, but what did my numbers look like?’ I mean, there’s maybe some stuff you should fine-tune, but if you’re showing them, you’re showing them.”

Laurila: That said, have you been spending any time in the pitching lab, maybe tweaking grips or slots to add more vertical or horizontal?

Crawford: “We do stuff like that, but coming back from TJ it’s been more like, ‘OK, we’re getting back into it, so let’s just see where my body wants to go naturally and go from there.’ We do dig into the information we get — we do implement it into everyday training — but I don’t get too invested in it.”

Laurila: Has anything felt notably different since coming back?

Crawford: “There have been things like my arm slot wanting to kind of fall into a lower slot that it was pre-TJ. The feel hasn’t been much different. It’s just been some tendencies I picked up that I didn’t really have in the past and have had to get rid of. Little things that have been pretty quick fixes.”

Laurila: What was your movement and velocity like this year?

Crawford: “I only threw about 19 or 20 innings — here [in the Arizona Fall League] I’m only hitting — and it kind of varied depending on the game. But I tend to get a lot of run-ride with my fastball. That kind of depends, too. If I’m 0-2 and want to throw one that really rides up, I’ll release it slightly differently; I’ll get behind it more, rather than thinking almost like a sinker, even though it’s the same grip.”

Laurila: What about the velocity?

Crawford: “I think I was up to 100 [mph] this year. I was sitting anywhere from five to seven, some days from six to nine. It really kind of depended on the day and what I wanted to work on.”

Laurila: What’s in your repertoire besides a fastball?

Crawford: “Curveball, slider, changeup.”

Laurila: We’ve ended up talking more about pitching than we have hitting. That said, do you have a preference? For instance, if you have to pick one, which will it be?

Crawford: “I can’t do that.”

Laurila: You’re a two-way guy…

Crawford: “As of right now. Yep.”

David Laurila grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and now writes about baseball from his home in Cambridge, Mass. He authored the Prospectus Q&A series at Baseball Prospectus from December 2006-May 2011 before being claimed off waivers by FanGraphs. He can be followed on Twitter @DavidLaurilaQA.

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4 months ago

I am just surprised at how little ABs and innings he had in the last year , at this rate he will reach the majors at age 30…..