Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Potential Options at No. 1 Overall

Who could the Pirates take at no. 1 overall?

Jun 26, 2023; Omaha, NE, USA; LSU Tigers center fielder Dylan Crews (3) celebrates after winning the
Jun 26, 2023; Omaha, NE, USA; LSU Tigers center fielder Dylan Crews (3) celebrates after winning the / Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
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Dylan Crews

It's hard to believe that Dylan Crews isn't the automatic number-one pick. A guy who batted well over .400, got on base in every single one of his games in 2023, was a major contributor to Louisiana State University's College World Series run, and did all of that in the Southeastern Conference, isn't a guaranteed number-one pick. That should tell you how stacked this first round is.

Many saw Crews as the potential number-one pick even before the season started. Crews batted .349/.463/.691 through 307 plate appearances in 2022. The outfielder lifted off 22 times with a .349 isolated slugging percentage. He also walked in 13.7% of his plate appearances while having a healthy 18.2% K-rate. However, all of these numbers would pale compared to what he did in 2023.

Crews' 2023 season was nothing short of insanity. In 344 plate appearances, Crews put up an otherworldly .426/.567/.713 triple-slash. While Crews hit fewer home runs, with 18 long balls and a decreased .287 isolated slugging percentage, he still posted outstanding raw power numbers. Pitchers hated facing Crews. He drew walks at a 20.6% rate. However, what was even more impressive is that he struck out just 13.4% of the time. His walk rate from last year is higher than his K% from this season.

Crews was likely worked around a handful of times. After all, how many 18-20-year-old guys want to challenge a guy hitting like prime Barry Bonds? But Crews did have line-up protection, with potential future first-rounders like Jared Jones and Tommy White and fellow top draft prospect Tre' Morgan also batting around Dylan.

Crews' offensive ceiling is in the heavens. But it's not as if he's an all-bat player. Crews receives plus reviews for his ability to run and throw. His fielding is the weakest area of his game, and even that still projects as average to above average out of center field. He could be a plus defensive corner outfielder if worst comes to worst.

Dylan Crews could easily be the first $10 million draft prospect. What can't this guy do? He can hit a ton, field to an above-average level, and won't cost you any value on the base paths. If anything, he'll provide surplus value when he runs. There's a reason why Cres has been so hyped.