While Brandon Crawford did not replicate the 21 homers from his 2015 breakout campaign, the All-Star shortstop matched his RBI total (84) and exceeded his totals in runs and triples all while improving his slash line to a career-best .275/.342/.430. The regression in home runs coupled with the emergence of a crop of young fantasy stars at the shortstop position kept Crawford's excellent season under the radar. While he may not reach 21 home runs again -- a 16.2 percent HR/FB in 2015 declined to a more normal 7.5 percent last season -- most of his other statistical measures were in line with his career. There's no reason to think that he can't replicate last year's numbers hitting in the heart of the Giants' batting order.
Crawford went 1-for-5 with a pair of RBI in Team United States' win over Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic Championship on Wednesday. The slugging shortstop shone on March's biggest stage, slashing .385/.429/.577 with six RBI while playing for his country. Crawford will now reunite with his Giants teammates in Arizona to close out the final weeks of spring training. Barring injury, the 30-year-old will serve as the club's everyday shortstop, providing a little pop and solid counting stats for his position.
Crawford went 2-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBI in Saturday's World Baseball Classic loss to Team Domincan Republic. Crawford had been struggling in Cactus League action (2-for-17), so his fantasy owners will be relieved to see that he is getting off to a good start in the Classic (3-for-7). His ability to perform in the WBC holds more weight than spring training numbers, considering the competitive nature of the tournament in comparison to spring training games where Crawford has nothing to prove. The slugging infielder will open the season as the Giants' everyday shortstop.
Crawford batted leadoff and went 0-for-2 in his spring training debut against the Reds on Friday. The lineup order should be disregarded as Crawford won't be batting leadoff come Opening Day. The 29-year-old saw his power numbers dip back to regular levels in 2016 after exploding for 21 homers the year prior. While the homers regressed, Crawford actually improved his batting average (.275) and on-base percentage (.342) while maintaining the 84 RBI high watermark he set in 2016. If he can maintain those levels, he will have value as a shortstop despite not hitting for plus power or stealing a ton of bases.
Crawford went 4-for-5 with a two triples, two RBI and a pair of runs scored in Tuesday's blowout win over the Rockies. Crawford had missed some time with a finger injury last week, but Tuesday's performance is as good as any indicator that he is fully healthy. His two triples Tuesday brought his season total to 11, which leads the major leagues in that category.
Crawford (finger) is in Sunday's lineup against the Padres. Crawford missed four games with a dislocated pinkie, but is back in action Sunday. He'll start at shortstop and hit seventh against Clayton Richard and the Padres. Crawford had gone just 5-for-24 (.208) over his last seven games prior to getting injured.