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Washington Nationals news & notes: Dylan Crews receives Golden Spikes Award, and NCAA championship ring...

Notes and quotes on the Nationals’ 2023 1st Round pick...

The No. 2 pick in 2023’s MLB Draft, Dylan Crews, received his Golden Spikes Award over the weekend, in recognition of USA Baseball naming him, “… the best amateur baseball player in the U.S.,” this year, and he and his LSU teammates got their 2023 NCAA championship rings at a Tigers’ football game.

The top position player selected in last year’s draft, Crews is currently ranked the top prospect in the Nationals’ organization, “… and a top five prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball America and,” as Washington’s Nationals noted in a press release on the 21-year-old outfielder’s latest accolades.

Crews finished his career at Louisiana State with a .380 AVG over three years, going 286 for 753 at the plate, with 43 doubles, eight triples, 58 home runs, 152 walks, 23 stolen bases, a .689 SLG and a .498 OBP.

In his first run in pro ball, Crews hit .292 with nine doubles, five home runs, 29 RBIs, 26 runs scored, a .377 OBP and .467 SLG in 35 games between the Florida Complex League, Single-A Fredericksburg, and ultimately Double-A Harrisburg.

“He looks great. He looks great,” GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies late in the 2023 season, praising the work Crews did on, “both sides of the ball.”

“He’s been playing great defense,” Rizzo told the Junkies. “He’s going to be a good player for us and a guy that’s going to be a pivotal part of this rebuild and one of the faces of our next championship club. And like I said when we brought him to Double-A, this isn’t the litmus test that he has to hit X-amount and this average and this many home runs, we just want to get his feet wet and get him acclimated to a higher level of baseball, and he’ll come to Spring Training and perform and see where we put him and we’ll see where he’s at in his development, because every player develops at a different timetable and there will be a day where he will impact the big league club in a big way.”

Crews’s abilities on both sides of the ball are something Rizzo has touted since the night of the ‘23 Draft, when he was asked which skills stood out as the club scouted the outfielder.

“All of his tools,” Rizzo said. “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. And he plays both sides of the ball, defensively and offensively, and he’s got a propensity to barrel up the baseball. He’s an on-base percentage machine, and he’s got power, hit, defense, run, and throw, and beyond that, he’s got the demeanor and characteristics of a winner and a champion, and he was very alluring to every team out there and we were fortunate enough to grab him.”

“He’s really an advanced hitter,” Kris Kline, (then the VP and Director of Scouting Ops for the Nationals, who has since transitioned to a role as a Special Assistant to the GM), said after the second round of this year’s draft, when asked which skills he was excited to see Crews develop as part of the organization.

“When Dylan is locked in he’s very skilled at driving the ball to right-center and working the middle of the diamond, and I think as he progresses in the minor leagues and at the major league level, you’re going to see him start to pull the ball more, and I think that’s where the power will start to come into play.”

When he was introduced to the nation’s capital after signing with the club this summer, Crews told reporters he was looking to build on all of his already impressive tools.

“I look to polish everything, really,” Crews said, “… from hitting to outfield work, speed work, first jumps, I think being able to hit all sides of the field with power and average, I think that’s the most polished, but I want to polish every part of my game, and get better every day.”

As for when he thought he might get a chance to display those skills at the big league level, Crews acknowledged it isn’t his decision and he just has to play.

“I’m just going to play my game, at the end of the day,” he explained. “I’m going to do what I can to try my best and perform to the highest I can perform, and that decision is up to the Nats, and however fast I get up, that’s up to them, but I’m going to play my game at the end of the day.”