Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford became the second-youngest player in the International League on Friday night.
And closer to Citizens Bank Park.
The 21-year-old shortstop made his highly anticipated Triple A Lehigh Valley debut, going 0 for 3 out of the two-hole for the IronPigs, who beat the Toledo Mud Hens in walk-off fashion, 4-3, at Coca-Cola Park.
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“We sent him back to Double A, he finished last year in Double A, we sent him back there to start this year,” Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said in an interview with Comcast SportsNet before his team’s 7-1 loss to the Braves. “We wanted him to work on a few things, he has done that, he’s answered the bell. It’s time to get him moving on to Triple A and hope that his development continues and he starts to force his way to Philadelphia.”
Crawford, the team’s top farm talent, was promoted from Double A Reading to Triple A on Friday morning in large part because of his advanced plate discipline. In 122 total games at Double A dating back to last season, Crawford walked more (79) than he struck out (66).
He notched a walk in his first taste of Triple A, to go with a fly out, lineout and strikeout.
“J.P. was a former first-rounder. He’s been good at every stop throughout the minor leagues,” Klentak said. “He should be on the fans’ radars and he is.”
The IronPigs play two more home games this weekend before hitting the road for three straight.