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Crawford

Carl Crawford:

I think the answer here is somewhere between B and C. At the least it is a decent decision, and if Crawford develops as the D-Rays expect, it will be an excellent one. But will he develop?

Most Comparable Players to Carl Crawford, through age 22 (retired players only), using Sim Score and PECOTA

Roberto Clemente
Claudell Washington
Terry Puhl
Les Mann
Max Carey
Vic Saier
Harry Heilmann
Rick Manning
Willie Davis

Clemente, Carey, and Heilmann are Hall of Famers. Les Mann and Vic Saier are early 20th century players who had flashes of success but never developed much beyond where they were early in their careers. Claudell Washington hit .308 with 40 steals and 10 homers in the Major Leagues at age 20. He had a long career, but never lived up to his complete potential. Puhl and Manning also had long careers, if not living up to their early potential. Willie Davis could have been a Hall of Famer if he hadn't played too much in Dodger Stadium in the 1960s.

So, what we have here is a mixture of guys who built on their early success and became outstanding Hall-of-Fame type players, and guys who didn't build on their early success and were merely decent. I think the key for Crawford is power development, not necessarily huge home run numbers, but can he knock 15 homers a season, while keeping his batting average high and not losing his speed? Better plate discipline will help. He doesn't have to become a walk machine, but even marginal improvements in his strike zone judgment will go a long way. He cut his strikeout rate last year by 20%, and that's a good start.