Crews gets a lot of firsts out of the way in Double-A debut

August 23rd, 2023

didn't waste a lot of time in the first 15 games of his pro career. And he didn't let any grass grow under his feet after leapfrogging over High-A to move within two levels of the Major Leagues.

The No. 2 pick in this year's Draft -- MLB Pipeline's No. 4 overall prospect -- collected a series of Double-A firsts -- hit, RBI, run, stolen base, walk and even hit-by-pitch -- as Harrisburg topped Reading, 5-1, on Tuesday night at FNB Field.

Just 57 days removed from helping lead LSU to the Men's College World Series title, Crews batted out of the leadoff spot for the Senators.

His stat-sheet-stuffing performance got off to an abrupt start as this year's Golden Spikes Award winner was drilled by a pitch from David Parkinson (Phillies) in his first at-bat. He crossed the plate for the first time in Double-A on a single by Trey Lipscomb, the Nationals' No. 14 prospect.

It didn't take too long for the Washington's top prospect to exact some revenge for the plunking. One inning later, Crews recorded his first RBI for Harrisburg by lofting a sacrifice fly to right field against the left-hander.

In the fourth, the 21-year-old outfielder picked up his first Double-A hit, spraying an opposite-field single off Parkinson.

Crews also got to show off his keen sense for the strike zone with walks in the sixth and the eighth, as well as his speed with his first stolen base for the Senators following the four-pitch free pass in the sixth.

Going into the Draft, Crews was viewed as a true five-tool prospect, with hitting his most attractive quality. On a 20-80 scale, MLB Pipeline graded the outfielder with a 70-grade hit tool, 60-grade power and speed and 55 grades for his arm and defense.

Nearly three weeks into his pro career, it’s tough to dispute the scouting report.

He spent just one game in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League and went a perfect 3-3 with three runs in his pro debut. At Single-A Fredericksburg, Crews slashed .355/.423/.645 through 71 plate appearances. Over that time, he collected 22 knocks – including eight extra-base hits – in 14 games.

Overall, this year’s No. 2 overall pick is batting .394 across three levels, living up early on to his reputation as the elite prospect the Nationals envisioned they were taking on Draft Day.