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.
“It's just just another bat. He rakes,” Wood said. “I don't know his numbers exactly from college, but I know they were stupid. So just having him here it's gonna be a lot of fun too. I'm looking forward to it.”
Stupid indeed. The 6-foot, 205-pounder hit .426 with 18 homers, 70 RBIs, a .567 on-base percentage and 1.280 OPS in 71 games this season while helping lead LSU to the College World Series championship.
Fellow top prospect Robert Hassell III (No. 5) is excited to add another familiar top prospect to the outfield mix.
“I know Dylan Crews. I played with him a little bit on the circuit before he went to college and before I got drafted. Great, great player, great guy. He's coming. I don't know where he's gonna start at, I don't know if that's been decided, whatever, but yeah, he's an outfielder, man. He's really good and he's just adding to the crew. I mean we got a lot of dudes, especially in the outfield, prospects. It's gonna be really fun.”
While everyone is excited about Crews joining the Nats, not everyone is thrilled with the school he’s coming from.
“It's tough that he was wearing purple during his college career,” said Trey Lipscomb, a 2022 third-round pick out of the University of Tennessee and the Nats’ 18th-ranked propsect. “But just having him in the organization and just drafting another SEC hitter, it's just cool to see that the SEC is still coming along. And you get guys like that, who are just super natural and don't come along too often a part of this organization, so I'm really excited to see what he's going to do.”
Cole Henry, on the other hand, is ecstatic that not just one but two fellow Tigers are joining the team.
“I think we could have gone with either one of them and been just fine,” the Nats’ 12th ranked prospect said of Crews and LSU right-hander Paul Skenes, the No. 1 overall pick to the Pirates. “But yeah, Dylan, great player, obviously. Sad I didn't get to play with him at LSU, he came in right after I left. But yeah, obviously a great player, fun to watch. I followed them all year long. I still have a few really good friends on the LSU baseball team, so that was exciting. We actually got Gavin Dugas, too, who is best friends with Dylan. So just super excited to have both of those guys come. But yeah, Dylan's a very exciting prospect, and I'm excited to be able to share a field with him.”
The Nats selected Dugas in the sixth round (165th overall) out of LSU. Henry has known the second baseman for a long time and got scouting reports from former coaches and teammates at LSU on the two draft picks.
“I can tell you I've been playing with Gavin for a really long time since I was about 15-16 years old and he's just the definition of a dirtbag, man,” Henry said. “He just loves baseball. He loves being a part of a team. He's a competitor. He's always a guy that I'm really excited to have behind me and on the same team as me. He fires everybody up. He's a great leader. Now I've heard the same things about Dylan. Just a baseball player, true and true. And I think you can't go wrong having both those guys behind you, especially as a pitcher. It just gives you all the confidence in the world that he's gonna run one down and Gavin's gonna dive for a ball in the hole and make a play on it. It's exciting stuff.”
Crews will spend his first days as a National in the Florida Complex League before making his way to Single-A Fredericksburg. Then it will only be a matter of (expectedly short) time for him to rise through the minor league ranks and join his fellow top prospects in the same outfield.
As Hassell put it: “Crews adding to the crew.”
Update: There will be a press conference today at 3 p.m. to introduce Crews at Nats Park.
It will air live on MASN, 106.7 The Fan and Nationals.com. It will also replay at 6 p.m. on MASN2 ahead of “Nats Xtra” and tonight's game.