Grand National: Slam, 4 hits in Crews' 4th pro game

August 9th, 2023

has four professional games under his belt. Just four.

The No. 2 overall pick in this year's Draft now also has his first career grand slam and first pro four-hit game taken care of. The Nationals prospect also homered for the second straight game en route to Single-A Fredericksburg's 11-2 rout of Lynchburg on Tuesday.

The grand slam, of course, made the most noise of all of Crews' hits on the night. The LSU standout scorched a heater by Guardians righty Samuel Vasquez right off his LED-broadcasted photo on the Bank of James Stadium titantron.

“He's one of the best hitters on the planet,” Fredericksburg manager Jake Lowery said. “He took a first-pitch fastball and hit it to right-center and off his face on the scoreboard. He gave us a big jump-start and kind of put the nail in the coffin in this game.”

And that was just the capper of Crews' breakout game. Out of the No. 2 spot in the FredNats' order, the 21-year-old started off by drawing a base on balls. He showed his speed by beating out a single to first base in the third and lofted a single to center in the sixth prior to the big clout.

"You can’t really draw it up any better than that," Lowery said. "He had a good walk in the first inning. From there, he just proceeded to get two-strike hits and had the big knockout punch with the grand slam.”

It's only the smallest of sample sizes -- less than a week's worth of games -- but Crews has lived up to his billing as the No. 2 prospect in this year's talented Draft class. After a stellar national title-clinching junior season with LSU, Crews has picked up right where he left off in the pro game.

The Florida native made his debut in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League on Aug. 3. Crews went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with his first extra-base hit -- a double off the right-field wall. Then it was off to the Carolina League. In his second game with Fredericksburg on Sunday, Crews hammered his first career home run an estimated 416 feet with an exit velocity of 105 mph.

And after Tuesday's four-hit, four RBI performance, Crews has quickly shown the organization he's the exact caliber player he was drafted to be -- elite.

“He's had so much back-and-forth traveling between signing with the Nationals, the [LSU] championship, award ceremonies and things like that," Lowery said. "So it's been good for him to be here in one place for a couple of days and just kind of get consistent sleep. He fits right into our team, and I'm excited for the future with him and the Nationals.”

Crews’ plate discipline is turning heads already, and said to be a big reason the outfielder sports a .444 average through his first four games as a pro.

“Today was a prime example of him laying off offspeed pitches with two strikes and getting something he could drive to the opposite field," Lowery said. "That's where his strength lies. We saw today with two strikes, one strike … it didn't matter to him. There was no panic in his delivery to the ball.”

Crews has exuded confidence at the plate since stepping into the pros. Even with the immense amount of hype and buzz surrounding him after winning the national championship, he's managed to keep his wits about him, and in fact, he said he feeds off of that attention.

“I've dealt with pressure my whole life, so it's nothing new to me," Crews told on Sunday. "I see pressure as a privilege, and I use it to my strength. I go out there and just do me at the end of the day. I know how to handle it."