Crews speaks on his path in moving quickly through Nationals system

August 30, 2023

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Dylan Crews doesn’t regret it for a second.

Projected to be a late first-round or second-round selection in the 2020 MLB Draft out of high school, Crews instead elected to withdraw his name late in the process, honor his commitment to LSU, and ultimately go through the process three years later.

To say it’s worked out would be an understatement, but that doesn’t mean it was an easy call at the time.

“It was very difficult,” Crews said in his first interview 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.”

Crews, of course, continued to develop and was regarded as one of the top college prospects to come out of the Draft in recent years, ultimately commanding a $9 million signing bonus after a run at LSU in which he helped lead the Tigers to a national title and was named the Golden Spikes Award winner as the top amateur player in the country.

Even then, he says he still thinks about how things would have changed had he elected to stay in the Draft three years back, but that’s certainly not to say he’d go back and change a thing.

“I don’t regret it at all,” he said. “It’s the best decision I’ve ever made, for sure. But to look back and think, ‘Man, what if I did go in the Draft,’ I don’t think I’d have been able to grow into the player I am today. I’d not be where my feet are a lot of the time, and I think going to college really helped me out with doing that.”

Prior to all that, however, Crews was a standout on the travel ball circuit, memorably standing out on the loaded Scorpions 2020 grad class team alongside fellow first-rounders Zac Veen and Drew Romo.

“I knew it was a special team, but we were so present right there in the moment, it’s so hard to look so far ahead into the future at that time,” Crews said. “We knew we were special, but to look back and think that we were all on the same team, I think that just says a lot about the group that we had.”

Crews dazzled at every turn on the amateur circuit, including a lengthy run with Team USA, but says that the feeling of being on the big stage early in his path — including his very memorable performance with the New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series at International Week in 2019, in which he smashed a double off the Green Monster at Fenway Park — was a big benefit in handling what was ahead of him.

“It helped me tremendously, for sure,” he said. “I always played up as a kid, I was a 2020 playing with the 2019 class, so I was always playing up, and the expectations part always kind of just came naturally to me. Just living up to a certain standard, that’s how I carried myself. I could go out there and be me at the end of the day; throughout college, I learned that. Being able to go there not only taught me how to be present every single day, but just understanding how to grow physically and mentally.”

Crews will have additional comments on being drafted, his time at LSU and his early journey in professional baseball as part of a separate story on later this week that also features teammates James Wood and Robert Hassell.

Mike Ashmore
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