Phillies Had Crawford and Williams Jerseys Ready in 2016
One of the more interesting memorabilia stands at Citizens Bank Park is the “Authentics Shop”. Fans can buy items from game use: baseballs, lineup cards, locker room nameplates and even some jerseys off of a player’s back. Two very interesting items for sale in the Authentics Shop right now are a sign of what might have been.
As shown above, the shop is selling two 2016 jerseys that were to be issued to prospects J.P. Crawford and Nick Williams. During the 2016 season, both players were seen as candidates for a September call-up. In the end, neither player proved themselves worthy to get the call and the jerseys went unused.
Williams peaked with a .290 batting average in July for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs but tailed off significantly. By season’s end, Williams was batting .258. Williams is faring well in the early going, batting .277 as of Sunday with two home runs and eight doubles. A member of the 40-man roster, Williams could get a call later this season.
Crawford batted just .244 for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs after batting .265 at Double-A Reading. As of Sunday, Crawford was batting just .156 at Lehigh Valley early in the 2017 season. Crawford is not a member of the 40-man roster currently, so he could potentially spend the rest of the season in the minors if the Phillies do not have roster space and he is not playing well.
It is not uncommon that the Phillies create jerseys in advance of a player’s promotion to the Major Leagues. When the Phillies hit the road, they often carry road jerseys of some of their possible minor-league call-ups so that they will be covered should an unexpected injury or trade force a roster move. In 2014, the Phillies had a number 7 Maikel Franco jersey ready and in their travel bag, even as Ronny Cedeño wore it briefly.
Ty Kelly wore number 15 for the Phillies until his recent option to Triple-A and Chris Coghlan wore number 3 in Spring Training. Crawford wears number 3 at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, while Williams wears number 4 for the IronPigs. If a Phillies fan wants to purchase the jerseys, it might be a nice pick up, though there is plenty of time for a different number to be assigned.