The Senators had Washington’s future stars for dinner!

This was not a politico dinner of senators from the US Capitol, rather a Double-A Harrisburg Senators’ postgame meal courtesy of Dylan Crews for his debut game. For those who do not know, Harrisburg is a minor league affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Yesterday, Crews was officially promoted to that level.

Yesterday, the Nats’ future stars were on full display with an outfield of Crews (Nats’ №1 prospect), James Wood (№2), and Robert Hassell III ( №8). The infield had Brady House (№3) at third base, and infielder Trey Lipscomb (№14) was taking the role of designated hitter last night, Israel Pineda (№22) at catcher, and newly acquired pitcher DJ Herz (№16) threw another bunch of zeros up on his statline.

After ripping through the Florida Complex League and Single-A Fredericksburg, for a grand total of 15-games, the Nats promoted Crews two levels to bypass High-A — and that landed him in Double-A Harrisburg where the Nats’ top-5 position players are now. A month ago, it seemed like the Nats were going to go slow and steady with Crews depending on how you interpreted general manager Mike Rizzo’s words. Of course, plans change too.

“[Crews] played a long, strenuous, stressful season already [at LSU], and we’re not going to force feed him very hard this year.”

— Rizzo said on 106.7 radio last month

Last night, Crews got a lot of “firsts” out of the way in his Double-A debut game as he had five plate appearances and started the game with a HBP and later scored. He added his first hit, first walks (2), Sac Fly, stolen base, RBI, and run scored. Technically a 1-for-1 debut, and Crews reached base safely four times.

With the Nats on an .800 win pace in their last 10-games, they would need to keep that pace for the remaining 36 games in this 2023 season for a miraculous finish to their year — and wait for it — win 29 more games for 87 on the season and a legit shot for a Wild Card. Right, that is wishful thinking and like we said before — would take a miracle of biblical proportions on the level of a Red Sea parting with a “free climb” of the Gabal Katrîne, and if you survived that, who knows. Did the Nats get aggressive in promoting Crews with the motivations to call him up this season to the Majors?

“I don’t see much reason to jump Crews two levels already, although I infer from the move that they’re at least considering having him see the Majors this year (otherwise it makes absolutely no sense). If Crews is coming to the Majors in 2023, which I could justify from a baseball perspective and also view cynically from a job-preservation perspective, then getting him to Double-A now makes that much easier, assuming he produces there …”

— Keith Law wrote in The Athletic

Key point by Law, “assuming [Crews] produces” in Harrisburg makes sense for any possible callup to D.C. this year. While the story is great about the surging Washington Nationals, it would behoove the team to have the tenth worst record this season to pick 10th in next year’s draft — but it would also be an amazing story to beat all odds to actually be a legitimate contender. The Nats’ are 7.5 games out of the Wild Card race and would need to leapfrog over six teams to get there. Improbable and nearly impossible. No team has ever comeback from 20-games under .500 to make the postseason. Baseball Reference still has the Nats with literally no chance of making the postseason at 0.2%. If you thought 19-31 was improbable — this is nearly impossible. But let’s enjoy the ride.

This Nats’ minor league team in Harrisburg is stacked. It is almost unfair to go through a lineup like that last night. First batter of the game, Crews, go plunked by a pitch, and later walked two times, as his new team cruised to a victory.

Hey, baseball isn’t easy, and even Crews had strikeouts in Fredericksburg. He might be the answer for the Nats’ next championship team, and Crews came out and said he wants to lead the Nats to another World Series win. It really isn’t in the cards for this year, and maybe not even for next year — but crazier things have happened in baseball history.

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 said in a media session after he signed his contract with the Washington Nationals

Crews certainly has a winning mindset and pedigree. It starts there, and this current Nats roster with a few of these top prospects and a key free agent or two could make this a dangerous Washington Nationals team in the near-future.

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