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J.P. Crawford showing why Mariners see him as their shortstop of the future

Mariners SS J.P. Crawford raised his average to .300 with a 4-for-4 effort Sunday. (Getty)

When the Seattle Mariners begin their road trip Tuesday in Milwaukee, 24-year-old shortstop J.P. Crawford will be in as good of a spot as he ever has been as a major league ballplayer.

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Crawford went 4 for 4 with a home run, two runs scored and four RBIs in a win over Baltimore on Sunday, lifting his batting average to an even .300 along with an .827 OPS in 27 games with the M’s. Though Crawford played 49 games with the Phillies in 2018 and 23 the year before, he has previously entered just three MLB games in his career with a season average of .300 or higher – the second through fourth games after his initial call-up to the Mariners from Triple-A Tacoma in May.

Combining his recent hot streak at the plate with competent defense at short, Crawford is showing why nearly every member of the Mariners’ front office wanted him to be the team’s shortstop of the future – before the Mariners had even discussed acquiring him from Philadelphia.

Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Groz and Tom are encouraged by what Crawford has shown since returning June 14 from a 10-day injured list stint for an ankle injury, as they explained during their show Monday.

“It was a good week for Mr. Crawford. He’s the one who stood out,” Grosby said of the Mariners’ successful recent homestand. “(He) looks like a piece (of the Mariners’ future).”

Added Stelton: “Absolutely great to see him do what he did.”

But as with any young player that appears to be getting his footing in the big leagues, there’s a question lingering about Crawford.

“Now we get to see, as he’s getting more and more exposure, the league’s gonna adjust to him,” Stelton said. “We saw this with (Daniel) Vogelbach, we see it with every player. They’re gonna have enough tape, they’re gonna find the holes in his swing. … They’ll start pounding that part of the plate. What’s his move gonna be in return?”

For more on Crawford, click the link below to read Shannon Drayer’s story where she talked to Crawford, Vogelbach and Domingo Santana to get insight into how the three young hitters who figure into the Mariners’ future plans are succeeding at the plate with three very different approaches in the batter’s box.

Drayer: 3 young Mariners succeeding at plate with 3 different approaches