SF Giants prospect to abandon hitting, will focus solely on pitching

SF Giants prospect Reggie Crawford will abandon his hopes of being a two-way player in the mold of Shohei Ohtani and will instead focus on pitching.

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants
Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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SF Giants prospect Reggie Crawford is one of the more exciting players in the team's farm system. He is a hard-throwing lefty that features a fastball in the high 90's. While it was thought that he could potentially hit and pitch like Shohei Ohtani, he will now just focus on pitching according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.

SF Giants prospect to abandon hitting, will focus solely on pitching

This is likely the best decision for Crawford. In the limited game appearances as a pro, his pitching has far outpaced his hitting. The fact that he can focus on fully developing himself as a pitcher without having to juggle getting in reps in the batting cage.

This is likely the best scenario for his development and has always been the likelier outcome. The pitching prospect's upside on the mound is much higher than what he was projected to do with the bat. While Crawford did flash above-average power in his limited time in the batter's box, he was raw in just about every other facet of hitting. That said, he was surprisingly smooth at first base during his time in the Arizona Fall League.

Unfortunately, we likely will not get to see Crawford this spring. He was one of the team's non-roster-invitees, but a lat strain will prevent him from throwing for the next 3 - 4 weeks. Injuries have had a big impact on Crawford thus far in his career as he has already had Tommy John surgery.

Perhaps, limiting himself to pitching will help to reduce his exposure to injury. However, the lat strain is another injury in Crawford's young pro career. When the Giants selected him in the first round of the 2022 draft, he was recovering from Tommy John surgery and they had been very cautious with his workload last season as he returned to the mound.

FanGraphs ranked Crawford as the 14th-best prospect in the team's system last year. The scouting report shows that while he throws hard, he can struggle with command at times. In addition to a power fastball, Crawford flashes a wipeout slider and a changeup that is still a work in progress.

Whether Crawford winds up as a starter or reliever may very well depend on how much he can end up controlling his fastball. If he can find a way to get it in the strike zone more often than not, then the Giants may feel it makes the most sense to develop him as a starter. If not, it would not hurt at all to have a guy with high velocity come out of the bullpen for you.

No matter what, Crawford will need to get healthy before he can prove what he is capable of. This new exclusive focus on pitching should help him as he tries to reach the big leagues.