Any mention of the greatest players in the modern history of LSU Baseball must include Dylan Crews.
A two-time All-American, a consensus preseason National Player of the Year candidate and the projected top pick in the 2023 Major League Baseball Draft, Crews will go down as one of the greatest players to put on the purple and gold.
Whoever wins the lottery tonight will have their eyes set on LSU OF Dylan Crews.— Joe Doyle (@JoeDoyleMiLB) December 6, 2022
Crews is the *ONLY* player returning to school in 2023 with a hard hit percentage greater than 65% on 93+ mph FBs (min 12) and greater than 45% on breaking balls (min 30).pic.twitter.com/WMvHZIbWLB
Top 2023 Draft Prospect Dylan Crews: such a unique load with how he utilizes his lower half. Sinks into his backside and altogether delivers his barrel through the zone in an insanely quick manner. Elite body movements. ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/O4m0CvY3ya— Jordan Volner (@jvolnerbaseball) January 23, 2023
The scariest part for the rest of the college baseball world is he still has one more year to go playing for the Tigers.
“Dylan is so equipped to handle everything I haven’t even thought about him having to deal with all the expectations (heading into 2023),” Tigers head coach Jay Johnson said.
“The key is for the player to just be themselves. The reason Dylan is thought of so highly is because he is friggin’ awesome as a player and as a person. 10/10 doesn’t do him justice. We have one conversation with him; hey here’s the baseball stuff and let’s continue to work on that, but your job is to just be yourself.
“It’s my job to help him if I ever see him get outside of being himself. I have so much confidence in him because he’s so on it. You just see it and if it ever gets off track, there is nobody better to get the work in to get back on track. Who has the top pick, the Pirates? Yea don’t think to hard (in regards to drafting Crews #1).”
Choosing to come to LSU and spurning the MLB Draft, Crews was the highest-ranked player in the country according to Perfect Game (13th) to attend college and made his impact immediately felt, hitting .362 with 18 home runs and 42 runs driven on his way to being named the National Player of the Year.
The five-tool Crews built upon the banner 2021 campaign with an even better sophomore season, starting all 62 games, hitting .349 with 22 home runs and 72 runs driven in, en route to being named Southeastern Conference Co-Player of the Year.
“The next step for me personally is that I really want to win a Gold Glove this year,” the centerfielder said. “I want to be known as a very good defensive player. At the plate, it’s all about continuing to develop my two-strike approach. I have been working really hard on it this off-season and it’s been awesome. I can’t wait for the season.”
Entering his second season under Johnson’s tutelage, Crews said the relationship with his head coach continues to blossom as they are able to continue his progression as one of the top hitters in the country.
“One of the biggest things he and I talk about and I continue to learn is how to slow the game down,” Crews said. “And to use your eyes. One of Coach Johnson’s biggest sayings is that if you can’t see the ball, you can’t hit the ball. Going back to step one and always seeing the ball first. Continue to learn how to slow the game down step-by-step and use your resources in the on-deck circle. Keeping everything simple.”
One of the biggest differences in year two for Johnson and Crews will be the protection in the lineup Crews has the potential to have. With transfers Tommy White (27 home runs at North Carolina State in 2022) and Paul Skenes (13 home runs at Air Force in 2022) coming in this season, joining forces with Brayden Jobert, who hit 18 home runs last season, Crews said he is looking forward to being part of a very powerful 2023 LSU baseball lineup.
“It all starts with doing the little things,” he said with a smile. “You do the little things and then the big things come later.”