The New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series powered by Program 15 Sports was proud to help send four players to the big leagues over the last two seasons, starting with Bo Naylor debuting late in the 2022 season, who was joined by Tyler Soderstrom, Grayson Rodriguez and Kyren Paris last year.
The ball is rolling, and the next wave of FSS alumni set to make their major-league debuts are making their case.
After starting off by taking a look at Tink Hence, Zac Veen and Anthony Solometo, here’s another player who might just be next, as well as the path they took through the Future Stars Series to get there.
OF Dylan Crews, Washington Nationals (Highest Level: AA)
Jarring as it may be to see Crews name on a list of players who might be next in reaching the big leagues, keep in mind that there was plenty of speculation *last year* that it would happen then.
Why is that significant?
Crews was also drafted just last year, becoming the highest picked FSS alum ever in going No. 2 to the Washington Nationals last summer after one of the most decorated collegiate careers ever at LSU.
It all came after an extraordinary run on the amateur circuit, one that saw him make several stops with the Future Stars Series, all of them memorable. That time began with a Scout Day as a part of his Scorpions team in May of 2019, and continued on a much more public stage at that year’s FSS National Tournaments.
Alongside fellow highly touted teammates Veen and Drew Romo, Crews stood out throughout the entire event, identified by the FSS scouting staff at the time as a no-doubt pro prospect with a showing that included multiple homers, including the one shown above.
It set him up as a no-brainer invite to that year’s International Week event, which was to be held in Boston for the first time. Crews continued to dazzle, smashing a long double off the Green Monster at Fenway Park, racking up future grades of no less than 60 in all but one category — throwing — on his report after that event, one that identified him as a likely late first round draft pick as a prep bat.
Crews, considered a strong commit to LSU at the time, was left with a big decision to make, and ultimately chose to withdraw his name from the 2020 MLB Draft — one in which both Veen and Romo went in the first round — and try to somehow improve his stock in college.
“It was very difficult,” Crews said in his first interview, conducted one-on-one with FSS Plus, since reaching the Double-A Harrisburg Senators after being taken with the No. 2 overall pick by the Washington Nationals.
“It was a tough decision. I was an 18-year-old kid, and it was a hard decision to take yourself out of the Draft, because you’re not really sure what’s going to happen in the future. But, I had all the confidence in the world in myself, and I was going to a great place to grow as a player and as a person. And, at the end of the day, it’s what I wanted to do. I really wanted to go to school, and I really wanted to experience that and experience the baseball there, and my parents wanted me to go there and experience it themselves as well. At the end of the day, I trusted my gut and did what I wanted to do.”
There, he won virtually everything imaginable, including the Golden Spikes Award as the top amateur player in the country, as well as a national championship.
After being drafted one spot behind LSU teammate and staff ace Paul Skenes, Crews quickly skyrocketed through Washington’s system, going 3-for-3 in just one game with their Florida Complex League team in his pro debut before quickly being promoted to their Low-A affiliate in Fredericksburg. A .355, five homers and 24 RBI stretch later over just 14 games later, and he skipped High-A Wilmington entirely and finished up at Double-A Harrisburg.
Universally considered a Top 10 prospect in the game — including FSS Plus, where he’s ranked sixth in the most recent Top 100 list — Crews, who will be 22 on Opening Day, will likely have a chance to compete for a spot on the Nationals Opening Day roster, with a more likely scenario either a return to Double-A Harrisburg or debut at Triple-A Rochester in April.
Either way, the big league ETA firmly remains set for 2024, where he could be part of a youth movement in Washington’s outfield that will surely also include fellow top-ten prospect James Wood, among others who have created something of a stacked organizational depth chart for those three spots.
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