Bay Area Sports: Ranking the Top 30 Players

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Aug 17, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford (35) fields a ground ball hit by St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta (not pictured) during the first inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

#13 – Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants

Brandon Crawford’s emergence as one of the premier shortstops in baseball has been a slow burn, but the flame that has come out is absolutely beautiful. Crawford came into the MLB in 2011 as a soft-hitting defensive wizard at shortstop, but over the past five years, his bat has caught up to is glove.

2015 was the culmination of all of Crawford’s hard work. It was a career year for him, as he set new personal bests in just about every category. Of those bests are: average (.256); slugging percentage (.462); total bases (234); home runs (21); RBI (84); doubles (33); hits (130); runs scored (65); stolen bases (six); and total WAR (5.6).

The rest of the league took notice of Crawford’s extreme break out. He was named an All-Star for the first time and earned his first Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards. The team rewarded Crawford with a six-year deal worth $75 million, locking him up and buying out his first four years of free agency.

Crawford has earned everything so far through his hard work and dedication to his craft. He’s gone from a platoon candidate to one of the best at what he does, and it has been amazing to watch.

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