PBR Illinois Player of the Week: SS Cole Crafton

By: Diego Solares
Associate Scout, Staff Writer

It was a potent start to the IHSA season for Lincoln-Way West sophomore Cole Crafton, helping lead his team to three wins in their opening act. The Warriors defeated Chicago Christian, Waubonsie Valley, and Harlem in week one, with Crafton playing a huge part in their success offensively.

Crafton started his season off with three singles in the first game - which happened to be his quietest showing despite reaching base three times. In game two against Waubonsie Valley, Crafton slugged two home runs and brought four runs home, adding another single to the mix. He followed that up with another home run against Harlem and added a triple to his statline as well, bringing home three more runs in the process. Crafton scored six runs, walked twice, and stole a base as well, doing it all for Lincoln-Way West in their three games. In total he went 8-for-10 on the week with three home runs, a double, triple, and seven RBIs.

Since his middle school days, Crafton has been one of the top prospects the Midwest has to offer in this 2024 class. He’s an explosive left-handed hitter capable of impacting the game in multiple ways offensively, as evidenced by his three-single performance followed up by an impressive power surge to finish things off. We’ve consistently been impressed by him throughout his amateur career and he became one of the first prospects in the state’s sophomore class to come off the board when he committed to Louisville on September 24th, 2020.

Here’s a scouting report published last fall by PBR National Crosschecker Shooter Hunt on Crafton’s national prowess:

Cole Crafton SS / 3B / Lincoln-Way West, IL / 2024

From 10/1/21: Crafton, a Louisville recruit and high school quarterback, continues to get more physical as his athletic 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame fills out, and it is showing up even more in the power production. The left-handed hitter is part of what is shaping up to be a stellar crop of premium prospects in Illinois’s 2024 class which includes five players in the top 75. Crafton is ranked #51 overall.

For his efforts, Crafton has been named the PBR Illinois Player of the Week, for the week of Monday, March 14 through Sunday, March 20. We're thankful for the POTW submissions we received from the coaches across the state. The players who garnered POTW consideration will earn a place within Friday's Diamond Notes story, so be on the lookout for that by the end of this week.