In his latest 2022 mock draft for Baseball America, Carlos Collazo has the Red Sox selecting Bishop Gorman High School outfielder Justin Crawford with their top pick at No. 24 overall.
Crawford, Collazo writes is “a premium position player with professional bloodlines who has taken a step forward with his strength after the offseason. He’s an elite runner who should provide plenty of defensive value and he’s got a nice swing with power potential.”
The son of former Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford, Justin is regarded by Baseball America as the 29th-ranked draft-eligible prospect in this year’s class. He is set to graduate from the baseball powerhouse in Las Vegas that is Bishop Gorman High School, which has produced the likes of Joey Gallo as well as 2020 first-rounder Austin Wells.
Crawford, who turned 18 in January, is listed at 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds and has a projectable frame. In 30 games played for Bishop Gorman this spring, the left-handed hitter has batted .451/.529/.804 with 11 doubles, five triples, five home runs, 30 RBIs, 44 runs scored, 13 stolen bases, 15 walks, and five strikeouts over 121 plate appearances.
Per his Baseball America scouting report, Crawford is “a great runner now with long and fluid strides and has posted exceptional run times in the 60-yard dash. He’s at least a 70-grade runner and should be able to cover massive swaths of ground in center field.”
MLB Pipeline, which has Crawford as their No. 37 draft prospect, notes that the left-handed hitting outfielder “has very good bat-to-ball skills” and is willing to make adjustments. He also “has the chance to be a plus defender in center field when all is said and done.”
A native of Nevada himself, Crawford is currently committed to play college baseball for the esteemed Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. It may take quite the signing bonus to sway him away from his commitment even if he is taken in the first round of this summer’s draft, which begins on July 17.
In prior mock drafts, the Red Sox have been linked to high school infielders, a college catcher, a college outfielder, and a college pitcher. The last time Boston used a first-round pick on a natural prep outfielder was 2009, when they took Rey Fuentes out of Fernando Callejo High School in Puerto Rico.
(Picture of Justin Crawford via his Instagram)