SAN FRANCISCO — Reggie Crawford has already played two games for the Giants’ Arizona complex league, but he visited Oracle Park for the first time on Wednesday.
The Giants selected Crawford, 21, with the 30th overall pick in the 2022 draft. He’s a two-way player who threw triple-digits as a reliever and hit at the University of Connecticut, missing the entire 2022 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last Fall.
Crawford returned to the diamond last week at the Giants’ Arizona facility for the first time since his surgery. In two games he has a hit, two walks and a strikeout. After being shut down for two weeks from pitching, Crawford started his bullpen progression on Monday and expects to be off the mound in a month.
“It’s awesome, I was going crazy not seeing any live pitching the last 10 months or so,” Crawford said. “I was getting the itch. Seeing everyone else play. I’m swinging and practicing this stuff, but I wasn’t able to get in the game. It was nice.”
Crawford took batting practice at Oracle Park prior to the Giants’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday and showed off some power, hitting a few home runs to center field as he got acquainted with the big league team and coaches. Pitcher Logan Webb reached out to Crawford over social media after his selection on draft night, but otherwise he was meeting most of his teammates for the first time.
Crawford bills as a two-way player, a skill superstar Shohei Ohtani is popularizing with the Los Angeles Angels.
“I understand it’s a unique situation, but I’m trying to maximize both sides as much as possible,” he said. “It’s cool being in this environment in Arizona with those guys. You take bits and pieces from everybody to be able to maximize the hitting side as well as the pitching side.”
Flexibility and versatility are skills the Giants have prioritized heavily during president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi’s tenure. So Crawford’s unique versatility could give him an advantage within the Giants’ system, manager Gabe Kapler said, even if he doesn’t hurdle the high bar Ohtani has set for two-way players.
“I think we’re going to see more of that in the next five, 10 years,” Kapler said. “I don’t think it’ll be three or four guys on the roster who can do it because it takes a tremendous athlete, high level of confidence, the ability to recover, the ability to balance your body and an amazing amount of talent and skill. Those things don’t grow on trees and they don’t grow on trees in the aggregate. I think we’ll see a trend in that direction, but I think it’s going to be a marginal trend.”
Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/08/17/sf-giants-two-way-draft-pick-takes-bp-at-oracle-gives-update-on-tommy-john-recovery/