Image credit: Dylan Crews (Photo by Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)
Dylan Crews was one of 40 players invited to participate in the 2019 Under Armour All-America Game, and he took some time to chat with Baseball America about his game, how he’s developed as a hitter, what he’s still working to improve and more.
Crews is currently ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the 2020 high school class and one of the group’s most complete all-around hitters.
Baseball America: What kind of player are you?
Dylan Crews: I try to carry myself as a person who you couldn’t tell if I was 0-for-4 or 4-for-4 the whole game. I’m always going to have that same character and attitude throughout the whole game, so that’s what I’ve always been taught and wanted to be as a person.
BA: How about the strengths of your game on the field?
DC: Definitely my opposite field power and my ability to track the ball in the outfield. I feel like those are my strengths.
BA: Most people don’t cite the ability to track a ball in the outfield as something they are proud of.
DC: Recent years I was more focused on hitting—not as much in the outfield. So I really worked on that stuff. My drops have been so much better. My weakness was going back on the ball, so I really worked on that and I’m tracking the ball really well right now.
BA: What are some things you can do to improve in that area?
DC: Just mainly BP. In BP, I’ll go out there and I’ll play in, really far in, and really work on my drops. Make the ball beat me so I can practice going to get it.
BA: How are you able to be such a consistent hitter? And how are you in control of your at-bats?
DC: Really just as the years go I really had a plan up there. Whether it was living middle-half, living middle-away; whether the guy is pumping it, shorten up (on the bat)—just really having a plan up there, and if you don’t get that pitch, there’s always the next one. That’s why you get three strikes. So growing up you can just swing away when you are younger, but as the guys start throwing harder and competition gets better you have to really have a plan up there and that’s what has helped me throughout the years.
BA: Did you develop that naturally or did someone help coach you up in that regard?
DC: Yeah, my dad and my Scorpions coach Matt Gerber—he helped me work the zones over the plate and that’s helped me be the person and player I am today.
BA: Who is your favorite MLB team?
DC: I grew up a Yankees fan.
BA: Who is your favorite player?
DC: Derek Jeter. He was our coach at the PDP League.
BA: How cool was that?
DC: If you told me that years ago I would have never believed you. But him on the field, it was a great experience. You can’t believe it. It’s unbelievable.
BA: What about Jeter’s game was appealing to you?
DC: Really the way he carried himself. They call him ‘The Captain’ for a reason, so the way he made others around him better. That’s what made me love him and love his game and everything about him. He talked to us about the mental side of the game. Going 0-for-4 and knowing that the sun still rises tomorrow. He talked about his ups and downs and how he’s had those days and really just taught us how to leave it out there and move forward. A guy like that, you just enjoy that he’s there.
BA: When did you realize you might be good enough to be an Under Armour All-American?
DC: When I was 12 I kind of noticed it. I started hitting more home runs, my power I started to notice. I started to separate myself a little bit from other kids. Started going to showcases, started trying to open some eyes.
BA: How did you tap into that power sooner than others?
DC: I had so many different stances—everyone goes through that. But mainly to get more power from me, and how I taught myself, it was just my legs. I learned that power starts from the ground up, so I really focused on my legs and that’s made me the hitter I am today.
BA: Having a simple, easy repeatable swing—was that a focus for you?
DC: Yeah I had a lot of people, and a lot of pro guys—I worked out with a bunch of players and I fed off of their information and every single one of them said less is more. And that stuck with me and I put that in my swing. Free and easy.
BA: Who is the toughest pitcher you have faced in the 2020 class? Why?
DC: All these guys are dudes. But Mick Abel is a big righty, Jared Jones is good, Nate Savino. Mick and Jared throw hard, so you just have to see it and react. They both have the same delivery a little bit and Savino’s ball tails a little bit more. You have to shorten up a little bit more against him.
BA: What are your goals for this summer?
DC: Really everything. There’s always room for improvement. But goals going forward—I’d love to be on the 2019 18U National Team. So that’s one of my goals. And really just to stand out and be the best player, person, teammate I can be—everything.
BA: What did you learn from being on the 18U team last year?
DC: I really learned that it’s a whole different world over there. A whole different ballgame. It’s the World versus USA. You have to really keep your head straight and keep all the distractions out of the way, keep your head straight. And you have one goal, and that’s to bring a gold medal back.
BA: Talk to me about your commitment to Louisiana State. What is it about the program that you are excited about?
DC: I’ve always wanted to be at an SEC school. LSU’s stadium and fan base is unbelievable. It’s 10,000 fans per game—that’s what I’ve dreamed of playing in. The coaches there are amazing, a father figure coach in (head coach) Paul Mainieri, (assistant coach) Nolan Cain. I’ve built a really good relationship with them and they’ve helped me out throughout the years, and I’m really excited to attend their school.
BA: If you didn’t play baseball, what sport would you play?
DC: I played football growing up and stopped in eighth grade. I didn’t want to get hurt for baseball. I played fullback and linebacker. Another sport is golf, actually. That’s a hobby of mine. I love golf.
BA: Have you ever had concerns about the golf swinging messing with your baseball swing?
DC: It’s weird, because I would go out on the weekends and play golf and then I’d do really good during baseball games. I feel like golf makes me better at baseball for some reason (laughs). I don’t know, I’m superstitious—it’s weird.
BA: What kind of music do you listen to? Favorite artist?
DC: It all depends, really. Mainly rap and country. Those are my two. A lot of rap guys I listen to. I like J. Cole, I like Drake sometimes. Meek Mill, I like him. YNW Melly, I don’t know if you know who that is. That’s about it.
BA: What is your walk-up song?
DC: “Your Love,” by the Outfield. It kind of just stuck with me when I heard it, when I was trying to find a walk-up song. That’s been my walk-up song the past two years, and it’s helped me, I guess—another superstition. I always have to warm up in the batter’s box the same way, (too). It’s really just swinging the bat behind my head. I’ll swing it around and I’ll take a few cuts, stretch my legs out.