J.P. Crawford on Critics: ‘I'm Just Trying to Shut Them Up'

J.P. Crawford doesn't have anything to say.

But he is hungry to stop others from talking.

Crawford is fully aware of some national minor-league baseball experts souring on his major-league potential. Earlier this month, it happened twice. On the At the Yard podcast by CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury, Baseball America editor John Manuel said he no longer viewed Crawford as an "impact player." And ESPN's Keith Law wrote that he had "nothing but negative reports on him from scouts and execs."

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Since then, Crawford has started to look like the Phillies' top prospect, which many deemed him as entering the 2017 season.

A little motivated by the critics?

"Yeah, definitely, the haters out there, all of us are going to read stuff on social media and what not," Crawford said Thursday on CSN's Philly Sports Talk. "I'm just trying to shut them up."

The 22-year-old shortstop prospect is doing his part, hitting .316 with four home runs, three doubles, two triples, 12 RBIs and 15 runs scored in 15 games since July 9. Dating back to May 25, Crawford has raised his batting average from .175 to .229, while walking as many times as he has struck out (33). His hot stretch through July even saw him hit an inside-the-park grand slam on Wednesday night.

"You don't really see that too often, practically ever," Crawford said. "Just to clear the bases and help my team win a game, that's always the best feeling."

A good feeling for Crawford is being comfortable in the box instead of complicating his mindset and approach, which he admitted was the result of his early funk.

"Especially when you're not doing so well, you're always thinking about something, like where your hands should be or timing, this and that, instead of just having fun out there," Crawford said.

"I was scuffling around the first couple months, and this month, just got comfortable again, try not to do too much - just be myself.

"Go out here every day and try to get better in someway - swinging-wise, defensively, I just try to get better every day and help my team win that night."

The victories are piling as the Triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs are 64-41 and 35-18 at Coca-Cola Park, where Crawford is slowing becoming a must-see attraction again.

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