SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When talking about reasons for optimism at FanFest last month, Giants general manager Brian Sabean mentioned just about every one of his young infielders, pointing out that there is room for each one to grow. Talking about Brandon Crawford in particular, Sabean said the Giants feel the shortstop is capable of an “All-Star type season.”
More consistency at the plate is what’s needed to get Crawford to that level, because the glove is already there. The 28-year-old has been one of the best defensive shortstops in the big leagues since becoming a full-time starter in 2012, and he showed no signs of slowing down last season. He played a career-high 153 games, then started every postseason game.
[RELATED: Brandon Crawford career stats]
Before a recent spring training game, Crawford sat down with me in the dugout at Scottsdale Stadium and watched on a laptop screen as I pulled up five of his best plays from the 2014 season. If you’ve ever clicked on his MLB.com highlights page, you know it’s difficult to cull the herd, but with Crawford’s input, I narrowed it down to the ones included in this piece. He talked about the preparation that goes into making these plays, what goes through his mind, robbing shortstops, saving no-hitters, and much more -- giving readers rare insight into how he plays the position.