Originally Posted by pedro
If Crawford was a good option in CF I believe he would have played there when Baldelli was injured. Even the Baldelli missed all of 2005 and half of 2006 Crawford has only played 23 games in CF in his career.
He is said to have the arm and range to play CF, Lou Piniella was quoted as saying the reason for not moving him to center was because he wasn't moving the best LF in the game. Maybe he can maybe he can't, but it would give us a very solid lead off guy, and I would bet he is much better than KGJ defensively at this stage of his career. Also he could be reunited with his old buddy Josh Hamilton. I found a little from this article from jockbio.com kinda interesting.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays held the first pick overall, and they spent it on North Carolina high-schooler Josh Hamilton, widely considered the best teenager in the draft. The entire first round passed without Carl’s name being called, but the D-Rays opened round two by selecting him. Tampa Bay was thrilled he was still on the board. Bart Braun and Doug Gassaway, who were calling the shots on draft day, actually had Carl rated above Hamilton in many categories. USA Today, in fact, predicted he would be a “high first-round pick.” Obviously, his Nebraska scholarship scared the other teams off. All in all, it was a bad day for college football coaches. The Rays’ third pick, Doug Waechter, was set to become South Florida’s QB.
It took less than two weeks for Tampa Bay to cut a deal with Carl. His $1.2 million bonus was the fourth-highest ever paid to a non-first-round pick. He reported to Princeton of the Appalachian League, where he joined Hamilton in the D-Ray outfield under the tutelage of manager Bobby Ramos. Both players hit well, but Hamilton, with 10 homers and a .349 average in 56 games, was the one who earned a late-season promotion. Carl’s stats were nearly as good. He batted .319 in 60 games and stole 17 bases in 19 attempts. While the team hoped to see more power out of Carl, he was named one of the league’s Top 10 prospects.
The 2000 season found Carl playing for Charleston of the South Atlantic League. Once again, he was overshadowed by Hamilton, who starred in the Futures Game and the SAL All-Star Game, and was named the league’s co-MVP with JR House. Hamilton hit .302 for the year, and finished with 13 homers and 61 RBIs despite missing the final month due to pain associated with a spring-training car wreck. Carl had himself a nice season too, matching Hamilton’s .301 average and knocking in 57 runs. His 38 extra-base hits were one short of Hamilton’s total, while his 55 steals easily led the RiverDogs. And once again, Carl was named one of his league’s Top 10 prospects.