The Fall Classic is right here, in the Arizona Fall League. Sure I’m a baseball fan and interested in the outcome of the World Series, but a show that has something Phillies- related grabs my attention.
As you can see, the Glendale Desert Dogs this year are comprised of the Astros, Dodgers, Pirates, White Sox and Phillies. The Star of the Show was supposed to be J.P. Crawford, the Phillies shortstop of the future.
But a not-so-funny thing happened to Crawford on the way to being a Fall Star. He got off to a poor start, hitting only 3 for 20, the three hits being single. As noted in the Bleacher Report, it may signal trouble that Crawford hit so poorly against a crop of pitchers of lesser quality on the mound than is usually found in the Fall. There was a theory floating around was that he’s simply exhausted. Another interesting observation is that he altered his two strike hitting approach (not striding with his front foot), as noted by ESPN’s Eric Longerhagen.
All this became somewhat moot when Crawford was removed from the AFL roster because he sprained his thumb, or had a partial tear of the UCL, depending on which way you read the spin. In any event, as Longerhagen points out, it will be intriguing to see if Crawford alters his two strike hitting approach in Clearwater in mid-February and into March.