Crews' college coach on Nats' newest prospect

Dylan Crews Jay Johnson

Dylan Crews will soon arrive at the Nationals’ spring training facility in West Palm Beach and start getting acclimated to his new organization. It will be a two-way street of him getting to know his new coaches and the coaches getting to know their new player.

Someone who already knows Crews well as a player and as a person is his college coach: LSU head coach Jay Johnson.

Johnson, who attended Crews’ introductory press conference on Saturday donning a purple sports coat, was beaming while talking about the second of his former players who went Nos. 1-2 overall in this year’s draft.

“I think it’s the combination (of) that's an elite player, that’s an elite person,” Johnson said of Crews to a group of gathered media members at the conclusion of the press conference. “I think if you stack up his three seasons of college performance, you’d be hard pressed to find anybody any better. But there’s this humility that he plays with, this edge that he plays with, this ability to lift everybody up and make everybody else around him better on top of these baseball tools that show up every single day to help his team win. I mean, it’s a truly special player. After not going number one, there was really no decision, probably, for Washington to select him.”

Johnson’s first head coaching job came in 2014 at the University of Nevada. After two seasons with the Wolfpack, he accepted the gig at the University of Arizona, where he coached for six seasons before leaving to become the head coach at LSU in 2021.

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Nats complete first sweep since 2021 with win over Giants (updated)

smith celebrates white

It was not a taboo word around the Nationals clubhouse. In fact, in talking to members of the team before today’s finale against the Giants, no one was really too concerned about it.

But it had to be noted how long it has been since the Nationals last swept a three-game series. You have to go back more than two years to June 14-16, 2021 against the Pirates for the last time they accomplished that feat. And per STATS, the Nats have not swept a series in their last 96 attempts, which is the longest streak of series without a sweep in major league history after passing the Philadelphia Athletics’ 89 straight series without a sweep between 1914-1917.

Alas, they finally did it, sweeping the Giants in three games this weekend with a 6-1 win this afternoon in front of 23,404 fans at Nats Park.

"This weekend we played like I thought we'd play throughout," said manager Davey Martinez after the game. "With a lot of energy, it was a lot of fun. It was a great weekend for us. So I was proud of the boys. You saw us go first to the third, you saw us turn double plays when we needed to, make some good plays, steal some bases, get big outs. Everybody was on point. So it was a fun weekend.”

As they did in each of the past two nights, the Nats jumped out to an early lead and didn’t look back, the new top of the lineup once again leading the charge.

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Nats not concerned about sweepless streak

nationals celebrate cherry

Nationals fans are aware of it. It may even bother them a little. But doesn’t seem to have an effect on the players and coaching staff in the clubhouse.

The Nationals have not swept a three-game series since June 14-16, 2021 against the Pirates. They have not swept a series in their last 96 attempts, expanding the longest streak of series without a sweep in major league history after surpassing the 89 straight series without a sweep by the Philadelphia Athletics from 1914-1917, per STATS.

Today, they have a chance to sweep the Giants after winning the first two games by a combined score of 15-4. But for the Nats, it’s just another chance to win a ballgame.

“Nah,” manager Davey Martinez said when asked if the team thinks about their sweepless streak during his pregame meeting with the media. “Like I said, we try to be where our feet are. Try to go about our business, go 1-0 today. What I can tell you is these guys will come out today and they'll compete. They'll play hard. If everything aligns, we'll come out, we'll win and it's just another victory for us.”

Jake Irvin and Josiah Gray led the Nats to their first two victories this weekend, pitching a combined 13 ⅔ innings and allowing four runs.

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Game 99 lineups: Nats vs. Giants

gore pitches white

Is today the day? Will it finally happen? Can this unfathomable streak be ended?

Once again, the Nationals are seeking their first three-game series sweep since June 14-16, 2021 against the Pirates. This will be the Nats’ fourth opportunity to sweep a three-game set this season.

They were able to win the first two games behind strong starting pitching from Jake Irvin and Josiah Gray, the young right-handers combining to allow four runs over 13 ⅔ innings against the Giants.

Now it’s MacKenzie Gore’s turn in his 20th start of the year. The 24-year-old lefty is 5-7 with a 4.59 ERA, 1.448 WHIP and 10.7 strikeouts-per-nine-innings. Gore was able to gut out 6 ⅓ innings in his last start against the Cubs, but he was charged with five runs, including two home runs. He didn’t face the Giants when the two teams met in San Francisco back in May. He did, however, go 1-1 while giving up nine runs in 9 ⅓ innings over two starts against them as a member of the Padres last year.

The Nationals offense will look to stay hot against Giants pitching, outscoring the visitors 15-4 over the first two games.

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Nats cruise to victory as they celebrate Crews (updated)


Today was one of those days where, in the grand scheme of things, the result of the Nationals’ game against the Giants didn’t really matter. The franchise introduced Dylan Crews, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, as one of the “keystone” pieces for the future.

Many were thinking about the next competitive Nationals team a few years down the line. But the players in the home clubhouse were not.

On the day the Nats celebrated Crews, they also celebrated a victory as they cruised to a 10-1 win over the Giants in front of 32,504 fans who came out to welcome the newest prospect and watch a ballgame.

And what a ballgame to watch if you were supporting the team wearing the cherry blossom uniforms, who won their second straight to take this series against the Giants.

"Yesterday was good, today was really good, so I like the trend," manager Davey Martinez said.

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Crews introduced as Nats' newest "keystone" player

Dylan Crews Mike Rizzo intro

It was another monumental day for the Nationals franchise and its future.

After making the signing official, the organization officially introduced No. 2 overall pick Dylan Crews as its latest highly touted prospect.

“Another exciting day here at Nationals Park,” said general manager Mike Rizzo to begin the introductory press conference in front of members of the Lerner family, Crews family and local media. “Over the years that I've been here, we've been here many times and few occasions can match the excitement that we have today. To get into the organization one of the most decorated, accomplished, winning-type of players in collegiate history to join the Washington Nationals is a special occasion for us.

The Nationals made the LSU outfielder the No. 2 selection of the 2023 MLB Draft two weeks ago. Crews reportedly signed a deal worth $9 million, the highest ever given to a position player in the bonus slot era of the draft. His college teammate, Paul Skenes, set the overall record with a $9.2 million bonus as the Pirates’ No. 1 overall pick.

Jim Callis of reported the final number.

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Game 98 lineups: Nats vs. Giants

Josiah Gray blue jersey

While much of the attention today surrounds Dylan Crews’ introductory press conference, the Nationals still have a game to play tonight.

The Nationals won their third straight series opener last night. Now they’ll look to win their first series since the All-Star break.

Josiah Gray makes his second start since his first All-Star Game appearance. He was roughed up Sunday in St. Louis to the tune of four runs and 10 hits over five innings in a loss to the Cardinals. On the year, the right-hander is 6-8 with a 3.59 ERA and 1.472 WHIP. He had an impressive outing when he faced the Giants back in May, completing seven innings and allowing just two runs and five hits.

Logan Webb starts for San Francisco. He is 8-7 with a 3.11 ERA and 1.083 WHIP on the season, but has been pitching really well in July. Over his last three starts, he has a 1.59 ERA, including a complete-game shutout of the Rockies right before the break. The righty held the Nats to one run with seven strikeouts over seven innings on May 9, though he did surrender nine hits.

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan,
Weather: Partly cloudy, 83 degrees, wind 5 mph out to left field

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Top Nats prospects excited to welcome Crews to crew (presser today)

Dylan Crews LSU yellow swing

As we await the official announcement that Dylan Crews has signed his deal with the Nationals, some top prospects are anxiously awaiting to welcome the No. 2 overall pick into the minor league system.

The New York Post’s Jon Heyman reported yesterday that Crews agreed to a deal worth about $9 million, which is over the slot value of $8,988,500. Now it’s just a matter of the team making the announcement.

While in Bowie this week, some of the top prospects in the organization with Double-A Harrisburg were excited to see the Nats select the Golden Spikes Award winner in the first round.

“I thought it was awesome. I was watching it,” said Brady House, the Nats’ No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline and 2021 first-round pick. “I did a couple of events in high school that were like (Team) USA and all that stuff that Dylan was part of too. So I watched him all throughout his college career especially. I did a lot of watching LSU baseball this year. So I love to see it and I'm happy that he's with our organization.”

Crews is already ranked by some outlets in the top five of their top 100 prospects lists, joining the Nats’ current top prospect James Wood as two of the highest ranked outfielders in the game.

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Irvin sets career highs as Nats power past Giants to win series opener (updated)


The Nationals have had success in series-opening games in July. Entering tonight’s opener against the Giants, they had won three of their last five opening games, outscoring their opponents 16-11.

It’s the other games in series that have caused them trouble to start the second half of season, as they've been outscored by the Cardinals and Cubs 42-16 in such affairs. But we’ll worry about those later this weekend.

As of now, that positive part of the trend continued with tonight’s 5-3 win over the Giants as the Nats were welcomed back home for the first time since the All-Star break by 26,062 fans on South Capitol Street.

“Very good game. The boys played well," said manager Davey Martinez. "All around it was a very, very good day. I loved the way we played today.”

The Nationals displayed some power early, thanks to their new top of the lineup.

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Harvey not too concerned with latest elbow injury (Crews agrees to terms)

hunter harvey pitches blue

There was serious cause for concern when Hunter Harvey saw his fastball velocity drop and then reported soreness in the back of his triceps on Saturday in St. Louis.

Given his injury history and importance to the back end of the bullpen, the Nationals were extra cautious with their closer, sending him home early to get an MRI on his right elbow.

The results showed a mild right elbow strain, which was considered the best-case scenario by the team. When speaking with reporters for the first time since he landed on the 15-day injured list (retroactive to July 16), Harvey didn’t seem too concerned with his latest setback.

“Just getting a little more sore than normal,” Harvey said in front of his locker before tonight’s series opener against the Giants. “The only good thing about being hurt as much as I have been, you kind of know the difference between normal soreness and stuff you don’t want to have. It’s something we jumped on early, which is good because I didn’t jump on it early last year and it cost me a couple months. So these few weeks should be good.”

The 28-year-old right-hander has dealt with his fair share of injuries throughout his career. This is his fifth trip to the major league injured list since 2020. He had a handful of injuries before his big league debut in 2019 with the Orioles, including Tommy John surgery in 2016.

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Game 97 lineups: Nats vs Giants

CJ Abrams runs cherry blossom

The Nationals return home for the first time since the All-Star break with a six-game homestand, starting with three against the Giants.

The Nats won the first game in each of their two series since the break. However, they weren’t able to win either set against the Cardinals or Cubs, dropping the second and third games in each series.

Jake Irvin will try to make it three straight series-opening wins tonight. The young right-hander had a rough outing in his first start after the break, giving up four runs in just three innings Saturday night in St. Louis. In 13 starts this season, Irvin is 2-5 with a 4.96 ERA and 1.492 WHIP. He did have his most impressive outing in his second major league start against the Giants with 6 ⅓ scoreless innings back in May in San Francisco.

Alex Wood gets the start for the Giants. The veteran left-hander is 4-3 with a 4.53 ERA and 1.528 WHIP in 14 appearances (10 starts). He didn’t face the Nats back in May, but is 6-5 with a 3.17 ERA and 1.159 WHIP in 15 career starts against Washington.

Davey Martinez has his right-handed-heavy lineup in tonight against Wood, with Michael Chavis playing first base in place of Dominic Smith.

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House settling into new home in Harrisburg


BOWIE, Md. – The Nationals have added another top prospect to Double-A Harrisburg’s roster. If you squint really hard, you can see the potential lineup of the next competitive team in Washington.

Just over a month after he reached High-A Wilmington for the first time, Brady House was promoted to Harrisburg earlier this week.

“It was an awesome feeling getting the call up,” House said ahead of his second Double-A game against the Bowie Baysox (Orioles) on Wednesday. “I'm sure everyone is happy and excited whenever they get the news that they're moving up somewhere. Just getting here and getting used to things and figuring things out and how they work around here, it's been nice so far. It's been a lot of fun so far.”

The Nats’ No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline and No. 3 per Baseball America, House needed only 16 games with Wilmington before earning his next promotion. Over his two weeks in High-A ball, he slashed .317/.368/.540 with a .908 OPS, five doubles, three home runs, 13 RBIs and three stolen bases.

He wasn’t even there long enough to realize how quickly he moved on.

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House promoted to Double-A, Lile to High-A

Brady House Wilmington run blue

Brady House is the latest Nationals prospect on the move.

The 2021 first-round pick (No. 11 overall) was officially promoted today from High-A Wilmington to Double-A Harrisburg.

House is currently ranked as the Nats’ No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline and No. 3 per Baseball America. He was recently moved up to No. 70 overall in MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospect rankings.

Promoted to High-A just over a month ago, the 20-year-old slashed .317/.368/.540 with a .908 OPS, five doubles, three home runs, 13 RBIs and three stolen bases in just 16 games with the Blue Rocks.

That came in his first taste of High-A ball after he slashed .297/.369/.500 with an .869 OPS, eight doubles, one triple, six homers, 22 RBIs, five stolen bases and 16 walks in 36 games with Single-A Fredericksburg.

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Nats' most intriguing series in second half (Part 2)


The All-Star break is now over and the Nationals will continue their season tonight. They start the second half with three games against the Cardinals in St. Louis before moving on to face the Cubs in Chicago.

Their 36-54 record puts them in last place in the National League East but on pace for a 10-win improvement from last year.

Not that the Nationals would ever do this, but the new rules are designed to prevent tanking and the Nats can’t pick higher than 10th overall in the first round of next year’s draft anyway. So they’ll be staying in the fight each game the rest of the way, as they did throughout the first half.

September baseball means expanded rosters and playoff chases. Will the Nats bring up any of their top prospects? Could they play spoiler to some of their October-hopeful rivals?

We now know the 2024 schedule. The first five most intriguing series of the 2023 second half are here. Here are five more of the most intriguing matchups as the Nats finish out the 2023 season:

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Nats' most intriguing series in second half (Part 1)

hunter harvey pitches blue

The MLB Draft and All-Star Game festivities are over. Today is the last day without baseball until the end of October.

The Nationals start the second half tomorrow with a six-game midwest road trip against the Cardinals and the Cubs.

As things stand, the Nationals are in last place in the National League East but are on pace to win 65 games this year, a 10-win improvement from 2022.

With the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the new lottery system in the draft preventing tanking across the league, the Nationals cannot pick higher than No. 10 overall in next year’s first round after selecting Dylan Crews with the No. 2 overall pick this year. Not that the ultra-competitive Mike Rizzo and Davey Martinez would ever intentionally lose, but that’s part of the reason those rules are in place.

So we’re in for an exciting second half of baseball as the Nationals continue to develop both at the major and minor league levels. Who will stand out over the next 2 ½ months? Will any trades be made before the deadline? Which prospects will be promoted and perhaps make their major league debuts?

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Nats focus on college experience in 2023 draft

MLB Draft 2023 generic

The 2023 MLB Draft is over and the Nationals have their new class of young prospects.

The Nats made 20 picks in this week’s draft, highlighted by No. 2 overall selection Dylan Crews, the highly touted outfielder from Louisiana State University and Golden Spikes Award winner.

Of their 20 selections, the Nats drafted three outfielders, four infielders, two catchers, nine right-handers and two left-handers. They drafted 18 players from the college ranks and two high school players.

Nine of the players the Nationals drafted in the first 10 rounds came from college programs, with righty Travis Sykora, taken in the third round, the lone exception.

“There were a lot of college bats, a lot of really good college hitters. Not a lot of pitching,” vice president of scouting Kris Kline said. “You had three or four college pitchers, so there wasn't a ton of depth. Those guys were gonna fly off the board fast. There were a lot of high school kids as well. But yeah, it was an unusual year as far as the depth of the college hitters, position players went.”

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Draft tracker: Nats wrap up 2023 MLB Draft (final update)

Nats 2023 Draft generic

The 2023 MLB Draft concludes on its third day this afternoon leading up to tonight’s All-Star Game.

Before we see if Josiah Gray gets to pitch in the Midsummer Classic, the Nationals have their final 10 picks to make, one to start each of the remaining rounds.

Through the first 10 rounds, the Nats have selected two outfielders, four infielders, one catcher, two right-handers and one left-hander. Righty Travis Sykora, the third-rounder, was the only pick out of high school, with the other nine coming out of college.

Vice president of scouting Kris Kline and assistant director of amateur scouting Mark Baca said at the conclusion of the 10th round last night that the Nationals are confident they will sign all 10 of their first picks, including Sykora, who has a commitment to Texas. And they’ve already started.

The Nationals announced this morning the signing of five of their picks from yesterday:

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Recapping Nats' second day of MLB Draft

MLB Draft 2023 generic

The Nationals made eight picks between the third and 10th rounds of the MLB Draft yesterday. They’ll conclude this year’s draft with 10 picks this afternoon, spearheaded by vice president of scouting Kris Kline and assistant director of amateur scouting Mark Baca.

Of their first 10 selections, the Nationals have selected two outfielders, four infielders, one catcher, two right-handers and one left-hander. Righty Travis Sykora, the third-rounder, was the only pick out of high school, with the other nine coming out of college.

“I think we did a super job,” Kline said on a Zoom call with reporters after the 10th round last night. “Everybody in there making our pool money work to the best of our ability and that kind of translated into three first-round picks at the top of our draft. So it was a good day. Good first two days for us. So pretty good.”

Because of the high number of college players and even with the lone high schooler, the Nationals feel confident they will sign all 10 of their picks from the first two days: “Yeah, we feel confident we'll have that all taken care of,” Kline said.

A lot has already been written about the No. 2 overall selection and No. 40 pick Yohandy Morales, both of whom are two of the next top Nats prospects.

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Draft tracker: Nats kick off Day 2 of 2023 MLB Draft (final update)

Nats 2023 Draft generic

The 2023 MLB Draft continues with Rounds 3-10 this afternoon and the Nationals are set to kick everything off with the first pick of the third round, 71st overall.

The Nationals, of course, lost to the Pirates for the No. 1 overall pick in the inaugural MLB Draft Lottery despite having the worst record in the majors last year by five games. But the draft’s subsequent 19 rounds revert back to the traditional order of worst-to-first, meaning they will have the first pick in each remaining round.

With the No. 2 overall pick last night, the Nationals selected Louisiana State University outfielder Dylan Crews, widely considered to be one of best prospects – if not the best prospect - in this year’s draft as the Golden Spikes Award winner.

“He's got a great skill set,” general manager Mike Rizzo said. “I think he's a guy that's going to fit right in here and be one of the leaders of the core group of guys that's going to be part of the next group of championships that we have here."

To start the second round, the Nats selected University of Miami (Fla.) third baseman Yohandy Morales with the 40th overall selection. The Nationals were surprised the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder was available to them that late, as he was ranked as MLB Pipeline’s 20th best draft prospect.

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In Crews, Nats get experienced college bat

Dylan Crews LSU yellow swing

The Nationals knew they were going to get their pick of the best position player or the best pitcher when they went on the clock for the No. 2 overall selection in the 2023 MLB Draft.

When Louisiana State University right-hander Paul Skenes went off the board to the Pirates at No. 1, it was clear the Nats were going to land the best position player in fellow LSU Tiger Dylan Crews.

The accolades for the outfielder are nearly endless.

He was the No. 1 draft prospect per Baseball America and No. 2 per MLB Pipeline. He was the recipient of the Golden Spikes Award and Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association Gold Glove while winning the national championship with LSU this year. He was a consensus first-team All-American, Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and named to the SEC All-Defensive Team in 2022 and 2023.

By being named the SEC’s best player for the second straight season, he became the first player to win the award in consecutive years.

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