In short start to pro career, Crews showed why he's a top prospect


Age on opening day 2024: 22

How acquired: Drafted No. 2 overall in 2023 from LSU

Ranking: No. 1 (No. 4 overall) per MLB Pipeline, No. 1 (No. 3 overall) per Baseball America

MLB ETA: 2024
* Projected by MLB Pipeline

Signing bonus: $9 million (second-largest draft signing bonus ever)

2023 levels: Rookie-level Florida Complex League, Single-A Fredericksburg and Double-A Harrisburg

2023 stats: 35 G, 159 PA, 137 AB, 26 R, 40 H, 9 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 29 RBIs, 4 SB, 6 CS, 14 BB, 38 SO, .292 AVG, .377 OBP, .467 SLG, .845 OPS

Quotable: “Just a kid who is a hard worker, loves to play the game, is gonna enjoy it every single day and most importantly wants to win. Coming from a program like LSU, it's a program of excellence and they want to win every single day. So that's kind of embedded in me and I want to bring that over to this organization and hopefully bring the next World Series to this organization.” – Dylan Crews

2023 analysis: When the first-ever MLB Draft Lottery took place at last year’s Winter Meetings, the Nationals were tied with the best odds to land the 2023 No. 1 overall pick. And when they received the No. 2 overall pick, general manager Mike Rizzo knew he would have his selection of the best pitcher or the best position player in the draft.

Rumors and debates swirled for the months leading up to July’s draft with two clear top choices: right-hander Paul Skenes and the outfielder Crews. Many wondered what the Nats would do if the Pirates went off-script with the No. 1 pick and took someone other than the two LSU standouts.

But when Pittsburgh selected Skenes, Washington was very happy with Crews.

Later that month, Crews was introduced at Nationals Park and began his professional career. He didn’t need much time at the team’s spring training complex in West Palm Beach, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored and a double in his one and only game in the FCL.

Crews then went to Fredericksburg, where he dominated the Carolina League in just two weeks. He hit .355 with a 1.068 OPS, three doubles, five home runs and 24 RBIs in just 14 games with the FredNats, which was enough for the organization to send him straight to Double-A.

The Nats’ newest top prospect found the Eastern League a little more challenging, hitting only .208 with a .595 OPS and 19 strikeouts in 20 games with the Senators. He did, however, get on base at a solid rate while drawing eight walks and steal three bases.

Crews spent most of his time playing center field, though he did log a couple of games in both left and right.

2024 outlook: The sky's the limit for Crews. Even with his struggles at Double-A, he gave the Nats every reason to believe he was worthy of the No. 2 overall pick with superstar potential.

The Nats are now loaded with outfield prospects. And even with Robert Hassell III, Elijah Green and Christhian Vaquero struggling, Crews and James Wood should be able to break through to the majors next season.

Assuming Rizzo doesn’t make drastic changes to the outfield this offseason, Crews should come to spring training with a major league camp invite in February. How long he sticks around will be up to his performance. But outside of Lane Thomas and a free agent signing, there should be no one blocking Crews or Wood from the majors once the team deems them ready.

It shouldn’t be expected that Crews break camp with the team. He likely will start back in Harrisbrug as the Nats would like to see him increase his average before promoting him again. But in just a small sample size, he flashed all the tools that make him one of the top prospects in the sport with everyone keeping an eye on when he could start helping the major league team.

Will Wood's strong season set him on path to major...
2023 Nats All-Prospect team

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