Five Impact Prospects for 2016: National League

Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America

Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America

#4: J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies

Yes, he’ll technically be taking Freddy Galvis‘s job, but it’s probably easier for Phillies fans to think of Crawford as the spiritual successor to Jimmy Rollins. That might seem like some big shoes to fill – after all, Rollins in his prime was one of the most exciting players in baseball. But if there’s anyone that’s up to the task, it’s Crawford, the five-tool blue-chip prospect that seems primed to become a perennial All-Star shortstop like Rollins for years to come.

Even if you believe that a battle between old-school scouting and new-era advanced metrics is taking place in baseball right now, it’s hard not to see how both love Crawford. His defense is rated highly by the metrics thanks to his smoothness and range while scouts really like his strong throwing arm. The 21-year-old Crawford also possesses the plate discipline of a grizzled veteran, which is backed up by the fact that he had a better walk rate (12.1%) than strikeout rate (11.1%) in 405 Double-A plate appearances last season.

A torn thumb ligament sustained in the Arizona Fall League sidelined Crawford for some of his offseason training, but shouldn’t seriously affect his chances of making an immediate impact in the Phillies lineup sooner rather than later.

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