Defensive Scouting Report: Brandon Crawford
Brandon Crawford has plus agility and quickness, which provides him with above average range for the shortstop position. He glides on the infield, making the difficult plays look easy. Entering 2015, he had 21 Range and Positioning Runs Saved over his career. Crawford also entered 2015 having made 28 more plays throughout his career than the league average shortstop. He looks most comfortable on balls hit to his left, especially when jogging or sprinting.
Crawford’s hands are quick and smooth, giving him one of the fastest glove-to-hand transfers in the Majors. This especially helps when turning the double play and, over the last three years, Crawford is fourth among all shortstops in GDP Runs Saved with five. He also excels when fielding balls backhanded. Since the start of the 2013 season, the league average success rate for shortstops when fielding a ball backhanded is 69.1 percent. Crawford’s backhanded success rate during that time frame is 74.3 percent, ranking first among all shortstops with at least 800 opportunities.
Crawford has smooth and efficient footwork combined with a solid lower half. Due to his tremendous body control, he consistently gets in the best position to field the ball. His footwork is highlighted when moving to his left or backwards. When Crawford’s first movement is back, he has a success rate of 53.0 percent, which is second highest among all shortstops with at least 800 opportunities since the start of 2013 according to BIS.
Crawford’s strongest defensive tool is his fantastic throwing arm. He has proper arm action for an infielder, to go along with well-above average arm strength. His arm is quick and his throws have solid on-line carry, allowing him to make strong throws in the hole and on the move. Crawford’s arm is also one of the most accurate at the shortstop position. Since 2013, he has an Infield Good Throw Rate of 95.4 percent, which is highest among all shortstops with at least 700 opportunities.