Lakewood High School junior JP Crawford already has sights set on the next level; and with good reason. The free swinging left-handed shortstop will be one of the top high school selections in the 2013 draft following his graduation.
Collegiate and professional scouts are drooling over Crawford’s high on-base percentage (.464 as a sophomore) and energy in the field. He possesses a unique speed that is seen in the field, and on the base paths.
Despite the obvious reasons, Crawford says scouts have their eyes on something else.
“I worker harder and do all of the little things,” said Crawford. “I bring a lot of speed and energy.”
It will take more than just a friendly conversation to convince Crawford to skip college and head straight for the Major Leagues, however. In November, Crawford committed to play for Frank Lucas of the University of Southern California Trojans, who has promised him immediate playing time.
Crawford also received attention from Oregon, San Diego, Miami, San Diego State and Long Beach State.
“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do until I took a visit [to USC],” said Crawford.
Before Crawford can make his decision between attending USC or becoming a professional, he will have to finish his junior and senior seasons at Lakewood. He has led the Lancers to a 12-1 record overall this season, and has his eyes set on a state championship.
Just two years ago, Crawford did something that no other freshman had ever done under Lakewood head coach Spud O’neil: started. In 27 years of coaching, O’neil refused to put a freshman at such a crucial position, but Crawford’s talents obviously changed his mind.
“[Playing as a freshman] helped me play like a leader now,” said Crawford. “It was a really good experience.”