No. 2 MLB draft pick Dylan Crews joins Washington Nationals with $9M contract bonus

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, left, holds a jersey with Dylan Crews, the No. 2 overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft, during a media availability at Nationals Park, Saturday, July 22, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo happily handed Dylan Crews his No. 3 jersey at a press conference on Saturday. The No. 2 overall pick in the MLB draft buttoned up his jersey for the first time, as Rizzo exclaimed what an exciting day it was at Nationals Park.

Just a month ago, Crews won the College World Series with the LSU Tigers and received the Golden Spikes Award, given to the top amateur player in the country.

“Crews hit .426 with 70 RBI while helping the Tigers win the College World Series. He can’t get to Nationals Park soon enough,” WTOP sports reporter Dave Preston writes in the Nationals Notebook.

Rizzo said the team has been scouting Crews since he was in high school and that he has “one of the most magnificent careers that a college player has ever had.”

Crews was originally in the draft as a Florida high schooler in 2020 but ultimately decided to withdraw and play ball at Louisiana State.

“My gut told me to take myself out and experience that college life,” Crews said. “Looking back, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. It was a bet on myself, really,” he said.

Crews boasted a .426/.567/.713 slash line as a junior at LSU, with a 1.280 OPS, 16 doubles, 18 home runs and six stolen bases. He also was the first player to win the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year two seasons in a row.

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, left, Dylan Crews, the second overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft, and Crews’ agent Scott Boras speak during a media availability at Nationals Park, Saturday, July 22, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The new Nationals outfielder said he is “just looking forward to the future” and feels like “all the hard work is paying off.”

Crews snagged a $9 million signing bonus with the Nationals, garnering the second-highest signing bonus in MLB draft history. Of course, that’s right behind No. 1 MLB pick Paul Skenes, Crews’ former teammate, who signed on to play with the Pirates for a $9.2 million bonus.

When asked if he felt any pressure being the No. 2 draft pick, Crews replied that he would just keep playing the game the way he always has.

“I view pressure as a privilege really,” Crews said. “I’ve played up my whole life, I was a 2020 playing in the 2019 class. I played up, so the expectations came natural to me.”

Crews said that he remembers watching Bryce Harper, a Nats former No. 1 pick, throughout his childhood and that Harper was “somebody that I was always looking up to.” He also knows a few current Nationals players personally and is excited to start training with them as a team.

Crews also continuously brought up how important his family’s support has been throughout the press conference.

“This means just as much to them as it means to me,” Crews said.

At the end of the conference, Rizzo pulled out three cigars for Crews, agent Scott Boras, and himself. He said he hoped it was the first of many that they would all be smoking together.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

Emily Venezky

Emily Venezky is a digital writer/editor at WTOP. Emily grew up listening to and reading local news in Los Angeles, and she’s excited to cover stories in her chosen home of the DMV. She recently graduated from The George Washington University, where she studied political science and journalism.

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