It was two weeks ago that Dylan Crews signed his pro baseball contract with the Washington Nationals to start his career. After reporting to West Palm Beach last week and taking some ‘live’ BP as we reported off of teammates Carl Edwards Jr. and Tanner Rainey, as both are on rehab assignments there, Crews readied himself for his first pro game. Oh what a quick start.
Yesterday, Crews made his pro debut with the Florida Complex League Nationals and went 3-for-3 with a double for a 1.000 batting average and a 2.333 OPS. He quickly earned a promotion to Class-A Fredericksburg.
People are asking after Crews’ promotion to Fredericksburg as to where he can go from here. First, here were general manager Mike Rizzo’s thoughts on how soon Crews could reach the big leagues along with the minor league plan:
“There is never a blueprint for when a player gets to the big leagues. [The players] make sure that we know when they’re big league ready, so you know, he’s an accomplished college player that played at the highest level that you could play at the collegiate ranks, and I think he’s a guy that we’ll assess when he gets to camp.”
” … We’re not going to force feed him very hard this year, but he’s a player that we think again is going to be a big part of this group in the near future.”
— Rizzo on 106.7 radio’s Sports Junkies last month
Those words from Rizzo that “we’re not going to force feed him very hard this year” seemed to indicate that the Florida Complex League might be the start to Crews’ 2023 season — but then Rizzo almost guaranteed the move to Single-A Fredericksburg which is the lowest level the team has for a full-schedule Class-A season, and both have become a reality — quickly.
“I’m in a great [Nationals] organization, and they’re helping me out tremendously to get to me where I need to get to. They’re getting me 110% ready to play these games, and I couldn’t be happier with where I am.”— Dylan Crews said yesterday to MLB Pipeline
Who knows what the Nats will do with Crews after Fredericksburg — but slow and steady usually wins the race. You have to think that either Crews goes to Wilmington High-A next, or he could skip there and go straight to Double-A Harrisburg.
At Fredericksburg, Crews will join his LSU teammate and 2023 draftee, Gavin Dugas, as well as Nats’ first round talent, Yohandy Morales, who Crews knows from youth travel ball. Morales was the Nats’ first pick in the second round.
“I like to say that ‘pressure is a privilege.’ It’s how you take it. Growing up, I always played up. … Transition seemed pretty easy as I got to LSU. I feel like the transition is going to be pretty easy when I go to play for the Nationals.”— Crews said in his post-draft first media session
Few find the transition to be pretty easy. There are some. Bryce Harper and Juan Soto had easy transitions as position players — but few can say that. Mike Trout had to be optioned back to the minor leagues after he struggled in his first stint with the Angels. But maybe Crews will follow the career path of Soto and deliver on his hope about another championship for the Nats.
“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 continued
Several games at each level like Anthony Rendon makes some sense when you put up the numbers, but certainly Crews playing the one game at the FCL and seeing a promotion was not a surprise. How many games he spends in Fredericksburg will be the next hurdle. Like Rizzo said, there really is not a blueprint.
We reached out to some sources to see how they saw it with Crews, and points that they made is the thinking that the team’s ultimate goal would be to get him up to the Majors by at least by the end of the 2024 season and play the entire 2025 on the Nats’ roster. Sounds good to me.