Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Success! Now Check Your Email

To complete Subscribe, click the confirmation link in your inbox. If it doesn’t arrive within 3 minutes, check your spam folder.

Ok, Thanks

How the Nationals' 2023 draft fared in their first season and projected Opening Day (Picks 1-5)

Taking a look at the top ten players that the Washington Nationals drafted in 2023 and what they did in 2023 and a look ahead to opening day 2024.

Richard Wachtel profile image
by Richard Wachtel
How the Nationals' 2023 draft fared in their first season and projected Opening Day (Picks 1-5)

During the 2023 MLB draft, the Nationals selected a total of 20 players, one in each round of this year’s MLB Draft

Here is a rundown of what these players have been up to during the 2023 season after they were drafted by the Nationals.

Editors Note: This is part one of a four-part series. I will be taking a look at the draft picks 1-5.  Stay tuned for draft picks 6-10 and then draft picks 10-15 and then draft picks 15 - 20.

1ST ROUND - (#2)  Dylan Crews - OF
Pick value: $8,998,500
Signing bonus: $9,000,000

The Washington Nationals made a significant move by selecting Dylan Crews, a 21-year-old talent from LSU, with the second overall pick in the most recent draft. His addition enriched their already impressive minor league outfield lineup with the top batting prospect of the year.

On August 4, 2023, Dylan Crews made his debut in the Florida Complex League, where he went 3-for-3. After a remarkable performance, he earned a promotion to the Class-A Fredericksburg Nationals on August 20, 2023, having posted an outstanding batting line of .355/.423/.645 with the FredNats.

In the 2023 season, Crews completed his campaign with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators. Over the course of 20 games and 85 plate appearances, he maintained a batting average of .208, recorded 5 RBIs, and secured 15 hits, concluding the season with a .595 OPS.

Read our player profile of Dylan Crews here.

TOTAL 2023 stats: 35 G, 159 PA, 137 AB, 26 R, 40 H, 9 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 29 RBIs, 4 SB, 6 CS, 14 BB, 38 SO, .292 AVG, .377 OBP, .467 SLG, .845 OPS


2ND ROUND (#40): Yohandy Morales - 3B
Pick value: $2,144,700
Signing bonus: $2,600,000

YYohandy Morales was ranked as MLB Pipeline's No. 20 prospect coming into the draft, having batted .408 with 20 homers and a 1.187 OPS in 61 games at the University of Miami. The Nationals were surprised when he slipped to the second round of the draft.

During his 18 games with the Fredericksburg Nationals this season, Morales posted an impressive batting line of .390/.448/.571 with a 1.020 OPS. He had 10 doubles, two triples, 17 RBIs, one stolen base, eight walks, and 18 strikeouts. This outstanding performance quickly earned him a promotion to Wilmington, after being rapidly moved up from the Florida Complex League to the Fredericksburg Nationals.

In Wilmington, Morales continued to excel, hitting .314/.400/.443 with an .843 OPS. He had five doubles, two triples, 14 RBIs, and eight walks to go with 16 strikeouts in 18 games, which led to yet another swift promotion before the season's end.

Interestingly, the Nationals tried Morales out at first base before the season concluded, even though he is primarily a third baseman. One reason for this was the strong recovery of Brady House from his injury.

Yohandy Morales wrapped up the 2023 season in Double-A Harrisburg. During his time with the Senators, he batted .286/.412/.357 with a .769 OPS, recording one double, four hits, 0 RBIs, three walks, and two strikeouts over four games and 14 at-bats.

TOTAL 2023 stats: 42 G, 189 PA, 166 AB, 30 R, 58 H, 16 2B, 4 3B, 0 HR, 32 RBIs, 1 SB, 1 CS, 19 BB, 36 SO, .349 AVG, .423 OBP, .494 SLG, .917 OPS


3RD ROUND (#71): Travis Sykora - RHP
Pick value: $1,021,300
Signing bonus: $2,600,000

Entering this year's draft, scouts praised his "intelligence and work ethic," and he possessed what was considered the fastest fastball, reaching triple digits during his time at a Texas prep school. Sykora was arguably the most dominant pitcher at both the PDP League and the Area Code Games.

While Sykora was initially committed to attending the University of Texas, he chose to begin his major league career this upcoming season due to receiving a signing bonus above the "slot." It's likely that Sykora won't be aggressively rushed through the system, but he was indeed considered one of the best prep right-handers in this year's draft class. Sykora's fastball touches triple digits, delivered with a compact motion that offers some deception. Additionally, both his slider and changeup have shown the potential to become plus offerings in the future.

TOTAL 2023 stats: n/a


4TH ROUND (#102): Andrew Pinckney - OF
Pick value: $660,000
Signing bonus: $500,000

During Pinckney's junior year at the University of Alabama, the Georgia native had a breakout 2023 season, finishing with a .339 batting average and a team-leading 79 hits, including 18 home runs, while starting all 64 games for the Crimson Tide on their run to the Super Regionals. In addition to being named to the All-SEC Second Team, Pinckney also earned spots on the SEC's All-Tournament team and the NCAA's All-Tournament Team in the Tuscaloosa Regional.

In the 2023 season, Pinckney began in the Florida Complex League and eventually made his way up to the Harrisburg Senators AA team.

During his two games in the Florida Complex League, Pinckney showcased why he was drafted by the Nationals and was quickly promoted to Fredericksburg, where he played in 17 games. Over this stretch, he had 82 plate appearances and achieved a .329 batting average with three home runs, 15 RBIs, and 24 hits.

Pinckney concluded the 2023 season by appearing in four games in Harrisburg. In total, he had 17 plate appearances and at-bats, a batting average of .235, an OPS of .471, and recorded four hits, one stolen base, and four strikeouts.

TOTAL 2023 stats: 41 G, 188 PA, 162 AB, 39 R, 52 H, 8 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 20 RBIs, 11 SB, 3 CS, 19 BB, 38 SO, .321 AVG, .415 OBP, .457 SLG, .875 OPS


5TH ROUND (#138): Marcus Brown - SS
Pick value: $464,400
Signing bonus: $350,000

The shortstop from Oklahoma State University showed promise with just a couple of games in Fredericksburg. He participated in only two games in the Nationals' Florida Complex League before earning a spot with the Fredericksburg Nationals.

While there's still a long journey ahead for this shortstop, I anticipate that in 2024, we'll witness more progress and movement within the Nationals' farm system.

TOTAL 2023 stats: 30 G, 125 PA, 104 AB, 14 R, 27 H, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 24 RBIs, 4 SB, 3 CS, 15 BB, 17 SO, .260 AVG, .376 OBP, .346 SLG, .722 OPS


The Nats Report is an independent reader-supported project with both free and paid subscriptions and not affiliated with the Washington Nationals.

Those who opt for the paid edition are providing vital assistance to bolster our independent coverage of the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball.

Richard Wachtel profile image
by Richard Wachtel

Subscribe to New Posts

Subscribe today

Success! Now Check Your Email

To complete Subscribe, click the confirmation link in your inbox. If it doesn’t arrive within 3 minutes, check your spam folder.

Ok, Thanks

Read More