Outfielder Carl Crawford was acquired in the blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox that also brought the Dodgers Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto. Crawford was recovering from Tommy John surgery and didn’t play with the Dodgers after the trade, but was ready for Opening Day this season.
Regular Season Grade: B
Nobody knew what to expect from the outfielder as he was coming off major surgery and struggled in his time with Boston; however, Crawford enjoyed a solid season in 2013. He finished the year hitting .283 with six home runs, 31 RBI and 15 stolen bases, mostly from the leadoff spot. The 32-year-old missed some time with a hamstring injury, but gave the Dodgers a consistent contributor at the top of the lineup and in the outfield.
Crawford started the season on a tear, carrying a .320 batting average into the middle of May. He missed most of June with the injury before coming back and finishing the season in left field. He hit .287 with 15 RBI in the final two months of the season.
After the bad season in Boston, Crawford came back and had a strong showing with the Dodgers, admitting he was so much happier after leaving Boston. He never quite got his legs under him, stealing only 15 bases, but he hit well and provided solid defense.
Playoff Grade: A-
Crawford found his power stroke in the postseason, hitting four home runs in 10 games between the NLDS and NLCS series. He finished the playoffs hitting .310 with the four home runs and drove in six in 42 at-bats. The 32-year-old hit two solo home runs in Game 4 of the NLDS, providing half the offense in the series-clinching win. He also had a highlight-reel catch in Game 3 that sent him into the crowd.
The outfielder was one of the Dodgers that hit well in the NLCS, as he hit .280 with a double and a home run in six games. Crawford solidified the leadoff spot for the Dodgers and gave them a consistent bat in the lineup.
Overall Grade: B+
The Dodgers had to be pleasantly surprised with Crawford this season as he gave them good numbers and an everyday left fielder. The 32-year-old will head into the off-season with a strong sense that he’ll return as the starting left fielder in 2014.
Crawford came alive in the postseason, giving the Dodgers a consistent source of offense and a rare power stroke that was absent most of the season. With an off-season to recover from any injuries, Crawford should come back even stronger next season.
ICYMI: The Texas Rangers and Dodgers talked trade at the GM Meetings.