Hit - Dylan Crews
This isn’t any shocker. When you bat over .400 and have reached base in every single game of the college season, you're going to get a lot of praise for your hit tool. However, unlike many players where you see an 80-grade hit tool, Dylan Crews is able to back it up with plus-plus power. There’s a reason why many see Crews shattering the current signing bonus record.
Crews finished off his junior season at Louisiana State by batting .426/.567/.714 through 344 plate appearances. Crews walked in a whopping 71 times he stepped to the plate, resulting in a 20.6% walk rate. While he may have been posting a Barry Bonds-esque walk rate, he also rarely struck out, with a K% clocking in at just 13.4%. His ability to avoid K’s, draw a ton of walks, and rack up so many base hits makes him the best hitter in this year’s draft.
Not only did he hit over .400 in 344 plate appearances, but he did so with power. Crews’ isolated slugging percentage clocked in at .287. Crews lifted 18 baseballs over the wall, which is a pace of about 31 in 600 plate appearances. He also hustled out 16 doubles. He probably could have gotten more extra-base hits had pitchers not started to work around him.
Many see Crews as a potential center fielder. While he’s far from the fastest runner in the draft, he clocks in at plus with his ability to run. His defense in center projects as above average, and he has potentially a plus-plus arm. At the very worst, Crews ends up in a corner outfield spot in the long run, where he could end up even better defensively.
Crews' ceiling is probably something like early-90s Barry Bonds, just with less speed. He has a early unparalleled combination to hit home runs, consistently bat over .300, and draw enough walks to be among the top of the leaderboard for on-base percentage.
Crews have gotten more than enough comparisons to Bryce Harper. Crews really do have a chance to go straight from college to the major leagues. There’s almost never been a player as talented as Crews in the draft. If the Pirates want to solve their lack of another outfielder to pair with Reynolds and Suwinski/Joe fast, Crews is the easy pick.