Fans voted Giants shortshop Brandon Crawford an MLB All-Star Game starter for the first time in his career this year. And if you ask some of his NL teammates, the honor comes as no surprise.
"It's great because his skill set goes unnoticed," Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado told NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez in Washington D.C. at All-Star media day. "Especially in San Francisco, where it's so hard to hit -- I mean, really hard to hit -- and especially for a lefty because the field's so big. He's extremely underrated, and I don't think he gets the credit he deserves, especially [playing at AT&T Park]. I think a lot of fans don't really get to see him, but he's a great player."
Crawford is in the midst of the best season in his eight-year career. The 31-year-old batting .292 with a .363 on-base percentage and .825 OPS. All three marks are career highs, and he has 10 homers and 39 RBI to boot.
"He's amazing," Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. "He's one of the best in the game at shortstop, and his defense is as good as anyone's out there. But as we've seen, he can hit, too. I think a lot of people forget about his hitting, but he's been hitting third and fourth in the order plenty. He's a clutch player, too."
Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Baez will be Crawford's double-play partner in the NL starting lineup. He told Gutierrez he's looking forward to potentially turning two alongside a player he's heard so much about in his career.
"We were just in San Francisco, and all we heard is about Crawford," Baez said. "The way he plays short, the way he gets to every ball. He's so good. Playing with him now and starting with him in the All-Star Game is really exciting."
Crawford and his fellow All-Stars will take the field in the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday night at Nationals Park.