Lakewood, Calif., has had its share of great baseball players: former major league infielder Damion Easley; outfielder Mike Carp of the Boston Red Sox; New York Mets minor league catcher Travis d'Arnaud; and Philadelphia Phillies minor league pitcher Shane Watson.
Add another Lancer to the list: shortstop J.P. Crawford, a four-year starter who is on his way to rewriting the team's record book. The 6-2, 190-pound senior has plenty of athletic lineage. He's the cousin of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford, his sister Eliza is a starting third baseman on Cal-State Fullerton's softball team and his father, Larry Crawford, was a defensive back in the Canadian Football League.
Until June, when the postseason American Family Insurance ALL-USA boys baseball team will be announced, we’re taking a look at those who have either backed up the preseason hype or played their way into ALL-USA consideration.
This week’s player: Lakewood, Calif., shortstop J.P. Crawford
2013 stats thus far: Crawford is hitting .429 wth with 34 runs, nine doubles and 15 stolen bases in 84 at-bats.
Best Games: On Friday, in a 2-0 defeat of Wilson (Long Beach), Crawford made a diving catch and throw for a double play to end a threat and later drove in the insurance run. In a 17-1 defeat of Jordan (Long Beach) on April 23, he went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and four stolen bases.
Others’ Take: “"He's by far the best player we've had here," O'Neil said. "He's a five-tool player." — Lakewood coach Spud O'Neil.
Look Out For: Gaither (Tampa) shortstop Oscar Mercado, known for his slick fielding, is also hitting .286 with 26 stolen bases this season.
Also Look Out For: Gilbert, Ariz., shortstop Gilbert Peterson, who is hitting .549 with 39 RBI and eight stolen bases.
Follow Jim Halley on Twitter @jimhalley.