Last night, there was a moment leading up to 8:35 pm ET that the Washington Nationals Top-3 prospects, Dylan Crews, James Wood, and Brady House were all simultaneously 2-for-3 in their games in-progress. All of that changed in an instant when Crews obliterated a first-pitch fastball for a grand slam at 8:35 pm ET. Crews finished his evening with a monster 4-for-5 game plus a walk, and Wood and House finished with 2-for-3s and each one had matching bruises as a reminder of being tattooed via a hit-by-pitch. That is a combined 8-for-11 with a grand slam home run, two doubles, a walk, and two hit-by-pitches. All of that could be coming to a Nats’ lineup near you in the future.
If you go by Baseball America’s most recent rankings of all minor leaguers, of which they total close to 3,600 from the Complex League teams through Triple-A, Crews is the №3 prospect in all of baseball, Wood is №4, and House is ranked at №91. By the way, Keith Law at The Athletic has House at №30 in his rankings.
Yes, Crews went oppo with big-time power, and that was impressive. We knew that he has the ability to go all over the field with hits, but to see him hit an oppo home run with a wood bat was a first. That was not Crews’ first wood bat home run, as he hit one on Sunday also, and that went to left-center field.
Unless you are a pessimist, the future is very bright for the Washington Nationals. Taking the core of players at the MLB level with MacKenzie Gore, Josiah Gray, CJ Abrams, and Keibert Ruiz, you have the makings of a really good team just adding in Crews, Wood, and House. Then you can sprinkle in a superstar free agent pitcher, and some of the other top prospects like Cade Cavalli and Robert Hassell III and others, and this is a team that could be destined for another great run like the Nats’ teams of 2012-to-2019.
General manager Mike Rizzo was bragging about his farm system even before he drafted three first round talents this year in Crews, Yohandy Morales, and Travis Sykora. Fine, you don’t have to believe Rizzo, just listen to FanGraphs which ranks the Nats’ farm as the №3 system in all of baseball.
In January, Rizzo used the word ‘lush’ to describe his farm system, and said it was the best prospect group the team has ‘ever’ had. All of that was said before he knew he would bag his best draft class ever.
The train is chugging down the track and to use Rizzo’s quotable that is emblazoned in paint on the tunnel wall between the dugout and above the steps up to the clubhouse, “You‘re either in, or you‘re in the way.” This is a time to look forward.