Crawford went 4-for-5 with a home run and six RBI on Monday in Triple-A Tacoma's 12-8 win over Albuquerque.
The four-hit performance lifted Crawford's season average to .321 across 112 at-bats this season. With home-run production in the Pacific Coast League on the rise this season, the 24-year-old's .143 ISO doesn't stand out, but his improved batting eye and contact skills should be enough to earn him another look in the big leagues at some point in 2019. Any potential move into a full-time role with the Mariners would likely be contingent on one of the team's middle-infield starters (Tim Beckham and Dee Gordon) succumbing to an injury, getting traded, or seeing their performance take a dramatic dip.
Crawford is slashing .289/.379/.411 across 103 plate appearances with Triple-A Tacoma thus far in 2019.
The shortstop has seven extra-base hits (five doubles, two home runs) and two stolen bases on his resume with the Rainiers, and Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that he's been very solid defensively as well. With respect to Crawford's 2019 big-league prospects, Johns also relays that Tim Beckham's own strong start (.286/.359/.533 over 117 plate appearances entering Tuesday's game against the Cubs) and valued clubhouse presence has given him a relatively secure hold on the starting shortstop job for the time being despite an MLB-high 11 errors. However, Beckham is capable of playing second or third base as well, so a 2019 path to the majors certainly appears to be there for Crawford, especially considering the team's previously stated commitment to give several of their top prospects a chance at the major-league level this season.
Crawford was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
Crawford appeared to be the potential shortstop of the future when he was acquired in the Jean Segura trade over the offseason, but that future won't begin right away. He could still be up for a fair amount of starts later in the year, but Tim Beckham will start at short for at least the beginning of the season.
Crawford, acquired from the Phillies in an early-December trade, is hitting .240 with two extra-base hits (double, triple), two walks and three runs over 25 spring at-bats.
The 24-year-old has picked it up at the plate as spring has unfolded, as he'd hit safely in four straight exhibitions prior to rain wiping out Tuesday's Cactus League tilt versus the White Sox. Crawford could form the left-handed side of a shortstop platoon with veteran Tim Beckham this coming season, although the latter has the advantage of being a much more accomplished hitter at the big-league level. Crawford has scuffled with the bat in his two prior major-league stints, most recently slashing .214/.319/.393 over 137 plate appearances with the Phillies in 2018.
Crawford was traded to Seattle on Monday along with Carlos Santana in exchange for Jean Segura, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports.
There are reportedly other pieces of the deal yet to be disclosed. Formerly a very highly rated prospect, Crawford has yet to put things together at the big-league level, recording a .214/.333/.358 slash line, though he's still just 23 and has appeared in just 72 games. He improved to .255/.369/.479 over his last 42 games after an early season swing adjustment, suggesting that he's not far off from living up to his promise. He'll have a clearer path to playing time in Seattle and could thrive in a regular role, though his carrying tools are defense and the ability to take a walk, so he may help the Mariners more than he helps most fantasy teams.
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|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2015||AA-Reading Fightin Phil||86||351||53||93||21||7||5||34||49||45||7||2||.354||.407||.265|
|2017||AAA-Lehigh Valley IronPi||127||474||75||115||20||6||15||63||79||97||5||4||.351||.405||.243|