The Washington Nationals selected collegiate right-handed pitcher Wil Crowe out of the University of South Carolina with the No. 65 selection in the 2017 First-Year Player Draft. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo, and Assistant General Manager & Vice President of Scouting Operations Kris Kline made the joint announcement.
Rated the No. 36 overall prospect in the nation in the 2017 draft by MLB.com, Crowe went 6-5 with a 3.41 ERA in 15 starts for the Gamecocks as a junior. He struck out a career-high 90 batters during the 2017 season and walked just 31.
A 6-foot-2, 245-pound right-hander, Crowe was rated as the No. 6 prospect in the Southeastern Conference for the 2017 MLB Draft by Baseball America, and was a 2017 Preseason All-America third team selection by Baseball America.
A hard-thrower who pounds the strike zone Crowe was routinely clocked in the mid-90s with his fastball in 2017 and also possesses two different breaking balls. He threw a team-high 92.1 innings for South Carolina, including earning the victory against Missouri at the SEC Tournament on May 25, allowing just one run on four hits with three walks and a season-high tying nine strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work.
Named to the 2017 Preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch list, Crowe missed the entirety of the 2016 season as he rehabbed from 2015 Tommy John surgery. He made nine starts in his sophomore season (2015), going 3-4 with a 4.91 ERA in 51.1 innings of work, striking out 59 batters against just 19 walks. As a freshman, in 2014, Crowe started 15 games and was 8-3 with a 2.75 ERA in 91.2 innings of work. In his first collegiate experience, he struck out 59 batters and walked just 19. Named to the NCAA Regional All-Tournament team, Crowe earned freshman All-America honors from Baseball America as well.
The 2013 Gatorade Player of the Year in the State of Tennessee, Crowe was a 2013 Louisville Slugger High School All-American (Collegiate Baseball) and posted a 15-1 record and a 0.46 ERA and 172 strikeouts - while hitting .448 with 12 home runs -- in his senior season at Pigeon Forge (Tenn.) High School. Rated the No. 3 best high school prospect in Tennessee and the No. 58 prospect in the nation by Perfect Game USA, Crowe was selected in the 31st round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Cleveland Indians but did not sign.