Who is Rashad Crawford?

Rashad Crawford is one of the newest group of the Yankees prospects. (Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans)

Today it was announced official that the Yankees would be sending Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs in return for Gleyber Torres, outfielder Billy McKinney, (former) Yankees pitcher Adam Warren, and outfielder Rashad Crawford.

Torres was the Cub’s top prospect and McKinney the Cubs fifth-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, but Crawford isn’t a familiar name to many. The 22-year-old (23 in October) was born in Atlanta, Georgia and drafted by the Cubs in the 11th round back in 2012. He’s a lefty at the plate, righty in the field and comes in at 6’3 185 pounds. He along with Torres was in High-A Myrtle Beach for the Cubs and though he isn’t a top prospect Crawford turned his season around in July and is currently riding a hot-streak. The outfielder is known most for his speed but has also been making needed changes at the plate. His strikeout ratio has slimmed and his walks have risen. Also, it goes without saying but he is a threat to steal anytime he’s on base. He currently has 22 stolen bags and has been caught six times. In 2015 he stole 20 and was caught five times.

At the start of July, he was hitting .232 and his OBP was .299. As of today, he is hitting for a .253 average with an OBP of .327. In the month of July, he has a .342/.422/.468 slash alone in 19 games. That includes 12 RBIs and 10 walks. When on base he also hasn’t been caught stealing since June 10th. As for the field, Crawford has shown great efforts on plays to make outstanding catches out in the field. His speed gives him the chance for nearly any ball and with that good judgement on where the ball will drop. Should he join High-A Tampa he should immediately be a threat for a starting spot as the Tampa Yankees outfield group has not been the best throughout the season.

Crawford is the final part of this 4-1 trade, but he too can be a good piece in the Yankees system and someone to watch out for moving forward. He’s been noted as an under-the-radar type of guy with decent assets to improve on.

Who is Gleyber Torres?

Gleyber Torres was the centerpiece of the trade with the Cubs, but who is the newest Yankees prospect? (Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans)

On Monday afternoon, the Yankees completed a mega-deal that netted them four players from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for closer Aroldis Chapman. The lucrative package going to New York includes the crown jewel of the Cubs farm system, 19-year old shortstop Gleyber Torres.  The deal which was first reported completed by Jon Heyman.

Torres was signed by the Cubs in 2013 as an international free agent out of Venezuela for $1.3 million dollars and he has quickly cemented himself as one of the premiere prospects in the game. Just last week, Baseball America ranked Torres as the number 27 prospect in the game in their midseason top-100 list. After a slow April start for the High-A Myrtle Beach pelicans in which he hit just .179, Torres has improved his approach and is hitting .275 with 9 homers, 47 RBI and 19 stolen bases overall this season.

In his first full-season of professional ball in 2015, Torres hit .287 with 3 homers, 64 RBI, 22 stolen bases and posted a .346 on-base percentage between Low-A South Bend and Myrtle Beach.

Scouts regard Torres as a dynamic and mature five-tool prospect who has a strong-arm defensively with a quick right-handed stroke at the plate. He stands at 6’1″ and weighs in at 175 pounds; a frame in which most believe will allow him to stick at the position but also believe he would have no issue making a transition to third base in the future.

“He is very good defensively,” one AL East scout told Pinstriped Prospects. “I honestly think that his glove is ahead of his bat right now. He has tremendous range at a premium position and he is one of the youngest players in the Carolina League. I think he has 15 home run potential.”

With Torres now in the fold, it will be fascinating to see where the Yankees assign him for the remainder of the season. Jorge Mateo has struggled since early June and is coming off a disciplinary suspension down in Tampa. Tyler Wade has an all-star first-half for the Trenton Thunder but is still working on improving his plate approach and defensive skills. Both are considered versatile enough to play second base or one could be promoted to make room for the other. We will find out soon enough.

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