MLB Pipeline’s Mock Draft Has the Pirates Taking LSU Outfielder Dylan Crews

MLB Pipeline came out with a mock draft today, with LSU outfielder Dylan Crews being projected to the Pittsburgh Pirates with the first overall pick in the 2023 MLB draft.

Right after the Pirates won the pick in last week’s MLB Draft Lottery, Baseball America came out with a mock draft that also had Crews as the pick.

A lot can change in the seven months before the draft takes place, so you’re really just getting an early list of possibilities for the pick, with Crews as the early number one prospect.

There were some differences between the descriptions of Crews from the two outlets.

BA’s description called him a power hitting corner outfielder, with some mild swing-and-miss concerns that keep him from separating himself from the pack.

Pipeline notes the power-hitting part (which no one questions), but they say he’s a center fielder who could have a plus hit tool.

If you’re a Pirates fan, the Pipeline report sounds a lot better. BA still considers Crews the top prospect, so it’s only a matter of how his lofty upside will play out.

Since he’s been mentioned twice, and will obviously be a big part of our draft coverage this year, here are some looks at Crews. The first one is from BA:

The next video from Prospects Worldwide has full at-bats, slightly edited for time. You get to see a lot of pitches here, good mixed with bad.

This video from 2080 Baseball really has a good view of what Crews does with his front foot right before the pitch comes in. Definitely interesting, but it works for him.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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joesolo6181

Pitchers tend to get hurt and need surgical interventions. So I would be leery to take a pitcher 1-1. Now whomever is rated the number one prospect at the time of the draft the Pirates will not take that player. They will chose among the top 5 prospects and take the player willing to accept less than slotted value. So don’t worry about who they will take. It will only disappoint you when they don’t take the best player available.

Y2JGQ2

The first pick should be the best outfielder not represented by Scott Boras, and no…..i’m not joking

steve_zielinski

Reyonlds will be elsewhere when the 23 1-1 pick reaches the Majors. The outfielders in the minors do not project to provide 5-win production. We need outfielders and firstbaseman. This is the time to pick someone to play in the outfield.

bianco599

Besides Jackie boy’s lad are there any other sons of former MLBers rated high in the draft? Last year had Andruw Jones and Matt Holliday’s boys. Even NFLer Eric Green had a chap in the mix. I’d take a Bo Bichette but not a Cavan Biggio or Dante Bichette Jr.
P.S. Was my grammar correct? Someone on here has given me a complex.

Wabbit_Season

599!

I’m glad you asked.

Your grammar and syntax is fairly solid, although Strunk and White may have style points to offer.

Your punctuation has only the minor flaw of beginning your post with a dependent clause not separated by a comma. The only other qualm would be that, in a post scriptum, I think you need a colon prior to beginning the sentence. Distinguished P2-goers may disagree.

That’s a strong B+ on a baseball site.

You’re good to go.

But I’m glad you asked.

“Wanna race?”
-Wabbit

Last edited 1 month ago by Wabbit_Season
bianco599

Awesome. I rode way worse than that through all of my college careers. Should it be “grammar and syntax ARE fairly solid”?
Depends on your speed class. I can get really fast when chased by yellow jackets from a hay bale on my farm. Fair warning.

Wabbit_Season

TOUCHE!

You have nothing to be having a complex about!

dbsteel

He won’t be the pick. The projected #1 pick 7 months out won’t be the pick.

steve_zielinski

You know this how?

richard.deal

I agree…a lot of things can change this spring when college and prep ball start up.

Marshall

Not an expert but didn’t like any of his video. More swing and miss than anything. Going 1-1 I hope to get more.

richard.deal

I agree…especially the middle video. And his stance is kind of strange where all his weight is shifted back. I would think that would be a problem if he starts seeing MLB fastballs in the upper 90s…take too long to get his swing around.

jimmyz

I actually think off speed stuff will probably give him more trouble. Looks to me like he has three timing mechanisms in his swing. The bat coming off his shoulder, pulling his hands back when he loads and then getting his front foot down and ready which in itself looks like a two step process. Granted all hitters need to do those three things but his swing seems a bit more pause and go as opposed to being a singularly fluid motion. Not saying it can’t work. Swings are like snowflakes and signatures, every one is unique. His hands stay quiet which is great and the power looks legit when he squares up the ball. Just seems like there’s more targets that need to be hit during his swing to be on time with the pitch. Best way to take advantage of that is to throw slow junk that bends.

leefieux

As John said, “A lot can change in 7 months”.

Remember when Kumar Rocker was #1 ?

steve_zielinski

I’m too busy remembering Harper and Strasburg who were projected to go a 1-1 and who were picked 1-1.

ArkyWags

So recent! More than a decade ago.

steve_zielinski

So what?

ArkyWags

The real question is why you think it’s preordained Crews will be picked first. He sounds like a really good prospect, but not like either Harper or Strasburg.

steve_zielinski

Wow, you have a deep knowledge of Crews and my thought processes Lucky you.

I don’t think Crews will go 1-1. He’s good enough for that but the Pirates might like another player, Crews might want an over slot bonus, etc.
Greene had swing and miss problems which he addressed. The Pirates could have taken him, but took Johnson. Things change, and we should change our beliefs to conform to the new situation.

Last edited 1 month ago by steve_zielinski
ArkyWags

Green struck out 40% of the time in the complex league. He hasn’t solved anything yet.

Wilbur Miller

Yeah. Not being a pitcher will help him. But if somebody passes him, fine. That’s the great part of going 1-1.

steve_zielinski

Fangraphs has Gonzalez and Wilkin ahead of him. Dollander and Clark are also near the top some draft class rankings but not others. The order of talent can change. That said, Crews dominated college ball. Gonzalez and Wilkin too.

Wilbur Miller

Could be kinda funny, because all the yinzers will decide right away that Crews is the only possible choice, like they did with Rocker, and developments during the college/prep season won’t register. Plenty of room here for the Pirates’ scouts to do their jobs.

steve_zielinski

This class is strong at the top. Wilkin can hjt for power and move to first base. Gonzalez has pitch recognition and bat to balls skill. The Pirates need high-value outfielders. Crews would be one.

ArkyWags

Wilkin had major contact issues and if he has to move off third, hard pass. Especially with so many other options.

steve_zielinski

Wilken struck out 21% of his time at Wake Forest. That doesn’t indicate swing and miss issues. He has power but does not draw many walks and doesn’t hit for average. I relied on Longenhagen’s evaluation. Wilkin might have light tower power but his hit tool is suspect.

ArkyWags

FG also hasn’t updated those draft rankings in a year.

Per B-R, Wilkin had a 24% K-rate at Wake this year and 26% on the Cape. For comparison, Crews was around 18% in a rougher league.

Last edited 1 month ago by ArkyWags
steve_zielinski

I calculated his K% the old fashion way. I added his whiffs and his plate appearances, dividing the former by the latter. A 21% k-rate is not desirable, but it’s not a real bad sign. What undermines Wilken is his low BA and walk totals.

I was aware that the 2023 rankings are old.

leefieux

Our last #1 , Termarr, was barely on the radar at the beginning of 2022.

steve_zielinski

Johnson was most definitely on the prospect radar before 2022. Your claim is true for Jackson Holiday.

ArkyWags

Yep, I think Holiday sounded like a possible first round pick at this time a year ago, then blew up.

Wilbur Miller

Of the last three, he’s the one I’m highest on.

1979andCounting

Isn’t that the way we all think when a kid is only at 150 AB’s in the lowest levels of pro ball!

Wilbur Miller

Yeah, pretty much.
I really love the swing though.

1979andCounting

Ditto. If there’s a hitter who can cruise thru every level, it should be Termarr.

joebaseball

Still like this guy better Chase Dollander, RHP, Tennessee
While there’s some debate about the top position player in the college class, Dollander is clearly the best pitcher. In his first season at Tennessee after transferring from Georgia Southern, he captured SEC pitcher of the year honors by going 10-0 with a 2.39 ERA and a 108/13 K/BB ratio in 79 innings. He throws strikes with four pitches, the best of which are a mid-90s fastball that reaches 99 mph with carry and a mid-80s slider that touches 91., and if he is not the top projection, maybe we can get him at #1 for underslot $$$ and later overpay for slot and get Thomas White, LHP, Phillips Academy (Mass.) White hadn’t been seen much before this summer, and he picked his spots but showed enough in the PDP League and East Coast Pro Showcase to make him one of the top prep arms in the class. The 6-foot-5 southpaw featured a fastball that was up to 96-97 mph, a high-spin breaking ball in the upper-70s that misses bats and showed glimpses of what could be a very good low-80s changeup.

sweetnich

Haven’t we seen this before? Jamison Taillon or Manny Machado.

Same answer.

JoeNastasi

JT was a HS pitcher & Manny was also HS, so no that is a bad Comp.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I will say, he (among a lot of others on LSU squad) seemed to really struggle last year against any pitcher with advanced breaking stuff. That’ll be something I pay attention to this season.

steve_zielinski

Every hitter struggles with advanced breaking pitches.

NMR

and an advanced breaking ball from a college arm isn’t likely to be as good as even an average one from a big leaguer, thus the issue.

steve_zielinski

What you say does not refute what I said.

NMR

cool, then your comment was random and has no bearing on what BnP posted. Weird to reply that way, but you do you.

steve_zielinski

My comment is random. What do you mean by that.

jeffw3000

That makes me think of another pick. Remember Pedro Alvarez.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I was talking to my LSU buddy, and it did dawn on me that I could 100% see the Pirates falling in love with Paul Skenes if he has a strong year, as he’s a two-way player.

NMR

Remember Pedro Alvarez Nick Gonz…ah nevermind. 😉

Last edited 1 month ago by NMR
Marshall

Yes Sir. Why I am down on him for 1-1.

NMR

hmmm…

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Ironically, one of those games I watched was them flailing against Hunter Barco lol

SBRO

Pipeline is a marketing hype tool for MLB. Take their descriptions/analyses with a grain of salt, especially when they diverge from those of independent prospect-focused pubs.

Plenty to like about Crews even if he winds up in a corner and never hits better than .260.

steve_zielinski

And what does that mean with Crews.

SBRO

It means he’s still worthy of consideration for a #1 pick even if he can’t really play CF and his hit tool doesn’t develop a plus hit tool.

steve_zielinski

He is fast, has a strong arm, plate discipline, hits for average and power while playing in the SEC.

NMR

And this Front Office has clearly demonstrated time and time again they’re eager to accept poor defense at skill positions in exchange for offense. Don’t see why Crews would be any different.

Wilbur Miller

260/360/520 or so works for me.

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

I’m going to have to think about that hybrid toetap/foot slide.

NMR

Bryan Reynolds is gonna make himself a hundred million bucks with that move:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gMyJyfxixY

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

It’s similar but Reynolds doesn’t slide forward nearly so much.

NMR

very typical for raw swings to get cleaned up through the development process, none of these guys come out of the draft fully baked.

Crews does everything you wanna see in a modern swing, just with some baggage to trim.

PiratePrimate

He is the epitome of a “pitch me inside, I hurt your team, pitch me outside, I hurt you” kind of hitter.

b mcferren

what´s all this talk about the majority of his home runs going oppo over the right field wall?

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