Reggie Crawford, the Giants’ 2022 first round pick, is heading to San Jose after an extended look in Arizona to recover from Tommy John surgery.
A two-way player, Crawford has impressed during extended spring training, clocking in a fastball at 98 mph and hitting a ball with an exit velocity of 101 mph. The 22-year-old, for now, will pursue the both sides path.
The Mercury News was the first to report Crawford reporting to Low-A San Jose. He’s listed on the San Jose roster on the Giants’ regularly issued minor league roundup reports.
Crawford grew up swimming and playing baseball; he didn’t fully commit to the latter until he was a junior in high school. That, plus a shortened COVID-19 season and a lost junior year at UConn due to Tommy John surgery give him a relative lack of competitive experience.
Still, the Giants selected Crawford with the 30th pick of the 2022 amateur draft, signing him to a $2.3 million signing bonus.
“He’s just scratching the surface as a baseball player and as a pitcher,” Penders told KNBR.com after the 2022 draft.
Crawford underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2021. He played six games of rookie ball after getting drafted, but did so only as a hitter. That was his first exposure to live hitting in over a year.
Crawford made his first rehab appearance as a pitcher on May 5. In his last outing, he struck out three in two perfect frames.
In another appearance, Crawford struck out the side. At UConn, he fanned 17 hitters in eight career innings while slashing .309/.362/.546 as a hitter.
With Low-A San Jose, Crawford will get the chance to show more promise than many of San Francisco’s former first round picks of recent years. Christian Arroyo, Chris Stratton, Tyler Beede, Phil Bickford, Chris Shaw, Heliot Ramos and Hunter Bishop haven’t panned out for SF, while it’s too early to conclude either way on Joey Bart, Patrick Bailey and Will Bednar.
Crawford, given his unique skill set, could eventually become the most intriguing of them all.