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2024 Willie McCovey Memorial Community Prospect List No. 9

Who is the ninth-best prospect on the Giants farm?

Reggie Crawford smiling during batting practice. Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Even as the San Francisco Giants make some moves at the Major League level, our 2024 Willie McCovey Memorial Community Prospect List marches on, as we seek to rank the top 44 prospects in the organization.

The latest chapter brings us one of the most intriguing players in the system, and one of my personal favorite prospects. It’s two-way player Reggie Crawford, who has been voted as the No. 8 prospect in the system, rising one spot from his placement on last year’s list.

Crawford is full of potential, but it’s impossible (even more so than with most players) to project what the future has in store for him. The team’s first-round pick in 2022, Crawford — who just turned 23 — is one of the most eye-opening athletes in the system, as he both looks and moves like a middle linebacker. Though the Giants view him as a pitcher that they let hit, rather than a true two-way player, he entered 2023 as a complete unknown on the mound: pre-draft Tommy John surgery kept him off the bump in 2022, and he entered the season having thrown just eight innings in college, and 8.1 innings in summer ball.

He finally got to pitch in 2023, albeit with kid gloves: the Giants slow-played him due to the aforementioned Tommy John recovery, and then his season was delayed after contracting mono. His season was slowed further by three small (non-arm) injuries, and as a result he only made 13 appearances, and never for more than two innings. The first seven starts and 11 innings were with Low-A San Jose, where he had a 4.09 ERA and a 5.74 FIP; the next six starts and eight innings came with High-A Eugene, where he posted a 1.13 ERA and a 2.83 FIP ... small sample size abounds! Across the two levels, he faced 82 batters, and registered 32 strikeouts to 10 walks. With a high-90s fastball from the left side and an excellent slider (Baseball America ranked both pitches as the best in the system), Crawford has all the skills to be a great pitcher ... we just don’t know if he can stay healthy, or if he can get stretched out into a starting role. It seems that being stretched out may come at the big league level, as Dave Flemming mentioned on Roger Munter’s must-listen-to There R Giants podcast that there was talk in the organization of Crawford making an MLB debut last season before his final injury.

The hitting side is an even bigger question mark. The Giants didn’t let him hit much during the season, limiting him to 19 plate appearances as a designated hitter. He went 4-17 with one home run, two doubles, five strikeouts, and no walks. But intriguingly, the team sent him to the Arizona Fall League strictly as a hitter, where he also got to play first base for the first time as a pro. In the AFL he hit 8-58 with two homers, two doubles, 30 strikeouts, and 12 walks. The optimism is that the power and walks showed some impressive potential given that he was hilariously inexperienced relative to literally everyone else in the league. The pessimism is that the overall line there is quite bad (.558 OPS), and Crawford was visibly overmatched, showing how raw he still is as a hitter ... and he’ll almost surely begin 2023 in AA, where it will be even harder to get caught up to speed in the batter’s box.

I’ve rambled about him enough! Let’s move onwards and add another player to our growing list.

The list so far

  1. Kyle Harrison — LHP
  2. Marco Luciano — SS
  3. Bryce Eldridge — RF/RHP
  4. Carson Whisenhunt — LHP
  5. Rayner Arias — CF
  6. Keaton Winn — RHP
  7. Walker Martin — SS
  8. Reggie Crawford — LHP/1B

Note: Clicking on the above names will link to the CPL where they were voted onto the list.

On to No. 9!

No. 9 prospect nominees

Hayden Birdsong — 22.3-year old RHP, 5.48 ERA/3.36 FIP in AA (23 IP), 3.25 ERA/3.59 FIP in High-A (36 IP), 2.16 ERA/2.69 FIP in Low-A (41.2 IP)
Mason Black — 24.0-year old RHP, 3.86 ERA/5.33 FIP in AAA (60.2 IP), 3.57 ERA/3.23 FIP in AA (63 IP)
Grant McCray — 23.0-year old CF, .777 OPS/114 wRC+ in High-A (584 PA)
Wade Meckler — 23.8-year old OF, .578 OPS/72 wRC+ in MLB (64 PA), .965 OPS/144 wRC+ in AAA (102 PA), .881 OPS/149 wRC+ in AA (174 PA), 1.127 OPS/205 wRC+ in High-A (87 PA)
Heliot Ramos — 24.3-year old OF, .537 OPS/47 wRC+ in MLB (60 PA), .928 OPS/120 wRC+ in AAA (263 PA)

Note: Each player’s first name links to their Baseball-Reference page, and their last name links to their Fangraphs page.

Poll

Who is the No. 9 prospect on the Giants farm?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Hayden Birdsong
    (276 votes)
  • 33%
    Mason Black
    (254 votes)
  • 7%
    Grant McCray
    (54 votes)
  • 14%
    Wade Meckler
    (108 votes)
  • 9%
    Heliot Ramos
    (71 votes)
763 votes total Vote Now