1. Dylan Crews - RHH/CF
Coming in as the top prospect amongst pretty much all of the media outlets is LSU Tigers outfielder Dylan Crews. Now, he's the early favorite to go 1:1 in the 2023 MLB Draft, so the Detroit Tigers may not even have a chance to take him, but it's early and worth exploring a crazy turn of events where he falls to third overall.
Crews is going into his third season with the Tigers in Baton Rouge. The 21-year-old outfielder stands 6-foot-1 and weighs in at 203 pounds with a physical and athletic frame. He's got a build that projects as a big leaguer and looks the part with his tools.
He's regarded as one of the best hitters in the draft class, if not the top one. He's got incredible bat-to-ball skills with violent hand speed that can demolish baseballs. In 2022, Crews played in 62 games where he slashed .349/.463/.691 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 22 home runs for 72 total RBI.
In 2023, Crews is 4-for-10 through the season's first four contests with a home run and four walks with three HBP's. He's posted a .647 OBP through the season's first four games. Here's a look at his home run against Western Michigan from opening weekend.
Beyond the box score, Crews' tools are easily spotted. The hand speed catches your eye, but it's a really good path through the zone with control of the barrel to get on plane with pitches and drive them. He can make adjustments well, too, staying on time for off-speed. He hammers the fastball and adjusts to the breaking ball, being an extremely tough out for opposing teams pitching, something he has shown early on in the 2023 season.
In terms of his operation in the batters' box, he starts with higher-set hands and the back elbow up. He gets the weight back and starts just slightly open. There's a slight bat waggle, and he gets the hands into a hitting position early as he loads up with a bigger leg lift and an inward move.
It's a controlled stride with a hard turn through contract, really using that lower half to generate some strength off the barrel which he sends flying through the zone quickly. There's much to like about Crews' abilities in the batters' box.
It's not just the offensive tools, either. Sure, they carry the weight of things, but he can track the ball quite well in the outfield. He's an outfielder who can run balls down in the gap and patrol centerfield well for LSU.
The likelihood is that he can stick in center in the long term, which some Tigers fans might gawk at, reminding you of Riley Greene, but I would argue that passing on Dylan Crews could be a massive mistake for the Tigers if he is there at pick no.3 on draft day.