Optimism and Natitude align after the Draft!

People can choose their outlook on life — but if you are not more optimistic today as a Washington Nationals fan than you were on August 2, 2022, I don’t know what to tell you. The Nats pulled off the start to a great draft, a day after watching their two best prospects, James Wood and Brady House, who shined in the All-Star Futures Game. Drafting Dylan Crews at №2 overall in the Draft with Yohandy Morales at №40, just netted the Nats two of the best near-ready college bats in the draft. To start day 2 of the draft, the Nats went for more first round talent and scored Travis Sykora who pitched at the same Round Rock High School in Texas as Mason Thompson and Jared McKenzie, as well as former Nats outfielder Ryan Langerhans. Sykora was committed to University of Texas, but it sounds like he will sign with the Nats.

Maybe it was fate that landed Crews with the Nats, or if you are baseball spiritual, a divine line of destiny. The kid with the initials of D.C., ends up in D.C. Kind of prophetic. General manager Mike Rizzo has already promised Crews some fine cigars to celebrate, and that is what we should be doing.

A year ago, the Nats were mired in last place with a farm system that ranked in the bottom-5 of all of baseball. On August 3 of 2022, the Nats farm system jumped to the top-half of baseball, and today looks to be a top-5 farm system. What an axial spin to go 180° in a full turn around the sun at a constant speed of 30.29 km/s, and come up with brighter days ahead. As the world turns, it is far better to be the Nats today than a team that fooled itself to look in the mirror and think they were going to contend in 2023. Know who you are and do it with a plan. Rizzo and principal owner Mark Lerner promised to do just that.

Stop worrying if the team is going to be sold or that Scott Boras represents Crews and Wood. Enjoy what is in front of you. The future is bright for Nats’ fans.

“I’m going to keep bringing what I’ve been bringing to the table, and hopefully, [we] will bring [another] World Series to this organization.”

— Crews in comments to the media

What could a 2025 lineup look like if you want to dream? Check this:

1. SS CJ Abrams (L)

2. CF Dylan Crews (R)

3. LF James Wood (L)

4. 1B Yohandy Morales (R)

5. 3B Brady House (R)

6. DH Joey Meneses (R)

7. C Keibert Ruiz (S)

8. 2B Luis Garcia (L)

9. RF Lane Thomas (R)

That lineup could have Robert Hassell III, Trey Lipscomb, T.J. White and Drew Millas as your bench. Of course Meneses and Thomas could be gone. There is additional positional depth as you will see below in the top prospects listings. Many players like Daylen Lile, Elijah Green, Cristhian Vaquero, and Jeremy De La Rosa will want to push on to this list. We still need to see where players like Jake Alu, Blake Rutherford, and Carter Kieboom fit.

Here is our Sweet-16 of Nats prospects at the moment :

1. James Wood, OF Double-A

2. Dylan Crews, OF 2023 1st round draft pick

3. Brady House, 3B High-A

4. Cade Cavalli, RHP MLB IL

5. Robert Hassell III, OF Double-A

6. Jake Bennett, LHP High-A

7. Yohandy Morales, IF 2023 2nd round draft pick

8. Jarlin Susana, RHP Single-A

9. Elijah Green, OF Single-A

10. Cristhian Vaquero, OF FCL

11. Jackson Rutledge, RHP Triple-A

12. Travis Sykora, RHP 2023 3rd round draft pick

13. Jeremy De La Rosa, OF High-A

14. T.J. White, 1B High-A

15. Daylen Lile, OF Single-A

16. Trey Lipscomb, 3B Double-A

If you have not figured out the flaw in this, the team does not have their pitching leader like they had with Max Scherzer. The money that will need to be spent for the long-term is on starting pitching.

  1. Free Agent RHP/LHP
  2. MacKenzie Gore LHP
  3. Josiah Gray RHP
  4. Cade Cavalli RHP
  5. Jake Bennett/Jackson Rutledge

What does Rizzo think about the new talent he just added?

“He’s got a whole bag full of tools; he does everything well. His baseball IQ is terrific. He’s a great baserunner — he’s a fast runner, but he’s a great baserunner also. He plays both sides of the ball, defensively and offensively. He’s got a propensity to barrel up baseballs. He’s an on-base percentage machine.

“Beyond that, he’s got the demeanor and characteristics of a winner and a champion. He was very alluring to every team out there, and we were fortunate enough to grab him.”

“You could see the way [Crews] handled himself at the most pressure situations — his calm, cool demeanor. Not unlike a lot of the great players that we’ve had here in the past — Anthony Rendon and those type of players — that his heartbeat is slower than most and his pulse rate is slower, and the bigger the stage — the better he plays. That went into a lot of our decision-making. Dylan’s been great for a long, long time, and we hope that he continues to be great for the Nationals.”

— Rizzo on Crews

The Nationals are busy in preparation for their third round pick that is upcoming in the next hour. As a reminder, the Nats have a total pool of $14,502,400 to spend with the following slot values:

Pick / Round / Slot Value / Name

2 / 1 / $8,998,500 / Dylan Crews

40 / 2 / $2,144,700 / Yohandy Morales

71 / 3 / $1,021,300 / Travis Sykora

102 /4 / $660,000 / Andrew Pinckney

138 / 5 / $464,400 / Marcus Brown

165 / 6 / $357,500 / Gavin Dugas

195 / 7 / $278,400 / Ryan Snell

225 / 8 / $219,700 / Jared Simpson

255 / 9 / $185,800 / Thomas Schultz

285 /10 /$172,100 / Phillip Glasser

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