Circuit ends with PGAA for Crews

Photo: Dylan Crews (Perfect Game)

Blake Dowson
Published: Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Dylan Crews got the phone call at the Futures Game in Cleveland, he finally remembered, when he found out he was going to be a Perfect Game All-American.

It took him a second to remember where that phone call took place. Being one of the best baseball players in his class means he’s been travelling all over the country playing in different tournaments and showcases. All that travel and all those cities mesh together after you’ve put enough miles between then and now.

Crews doesn’t mind the travel, or at least he puts up with it because he knows the opportunities afforded to him aren’t presented to many high school juniors across the country. It’s tiring, but so is the college baseball schedule, and so too is the professional schedule.

“It’s been fun, but it’s been all over the place,” Crews said of his travel this summer. “But that’s how it will be in the future though, with college and pro ball. You just got to get used to it.”

Crews, who is from the Orlando area, has a number of college head coaches that would have loved to have kept him in state when he graduates high school. As the No. 4 overall recruit and No. 2 outfield prospect in his class, any of the high-level Florida schools would have loved to have had him on campus.

Louisiana State came calling as well, however, and the large crowds and traditions surrounding Alex Box Stadium were too good to pass up.

“I really wanted to be at an SEC school,” Crews said. “The fanbase [at LSU] is unbelievable. The people there are so nice, and there are like 10,000 people at every game. Nothing beats that. The coaches…they are all exactly what I wanted, all right up my alley.”

Crews loves LSU and loves where he has gotten in the game, but as for all the fanfare and high rankings that have come with it, well, he doesn’t pay attention to it. It’s noise.

“I don’t really look at the rankings,” he said. “There are tons of guys out there that are really good…So I really just try to stay away from that stuff and keep my head straight toward my goal, which is to go to college and then whatever happens after that, going to pro ball or whatever happens.”

He does credit where he grew up – that prospect-rich Orlando area – with what he has become as a baseball player today. There aren’t many days off as a high school baseball player in central Florida, with draft pick after draft pick in opposing dugouts.

To be the best, you have to beat the best, and Crews has had plenty of opportunities to do just that.

“Growing up, all the way from freshman year to now senior year, we’ve had studs [in the Orlando area],” Crews said. “We’ve had draft picks, really good pitchers come out of the area that I’m in, and it’s really helped me become the hitter I am now.”

And although he has had plenty of guys to look up to in the central Florida area, or even expand that to the entire southeast portion of the country, Crews finds his motivation in the play of a center fielder all the way across the country – Mike Trout.

Not a bad guy to look up to.

Crews didn’t mention Trout’s bat speed, or glove in center field, or smarts on the bases when describing what he tries to emulate in Trout’s game, however. It was the intangible stuff that turns you into an all-around ballplayer that Crews wants to take from the Angels superstar.

“I like his mental approach during a game, and I like how he carries himself,” Crews said. “He’s a great person on and off the field, and he’s a great teammate.”

However, Crews will soon check something off a list that Trout never did – play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic, a goal of his since he saw some of his former teammates make the roster last year.

“I got that phone call and it was a dream come true,” he said. “I used to play on the 2019 Scorpions Prime team, and after seeing all the guys on that team make the Perfect Game All-American Game, it was really a huge goal of mine, and after I got that phone call, it was my dream come true.”

It’s the culmination of a long summer of travel and a lot of different events for Crews and many of the other guys who have been on the same circuit as him this summer. Most of these guys are travelling from city to city for the same events and seeing each other again and again.

Bonds are formed during summers like those, and the guys talk at each event about what’s upcoming and what’s behind them.

The Perfect Game All-American Classic is a popular topic of conversation, and Crews said he and a number of other newly-minted All-Americans talk about the trip when they meet up.

“You see a lot of familiar faces throughout the summer, and all those guys are studs,” he said. “I’ve talked to a lot of the guys and they’re all so excited about going to San Diego.”

What are some of the things they talk about looking ahead to the Classic? Well for the pitchers, Trevor Hoffman’s name gets brought up quite a bit.

Most, if not all, of the players bring up the work they will get to do in Rady Children’s Hospital, though, and the impact it will have on everyone involved.

Crews was no different.

“I’m really looking forward to the children’s hospital and seeing those kids there,” he said. “Not everybody gets the opportunity that we do, so helping those kids out and making them feel welcome, I’m really looking forward to that.”

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