Andrew Stevenson (baseball)
Stevenson's MLB debut
|Washington Nationals – No. 17|
|Born: June 1, 1994|
|July 23, 2017, for the Washington Nationals|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2020 season)
|Runs batted in||26|
Stevenson played college baseball at Louisiana State University (LSU) from 2013 to 2015. After his sophomore season in 2014, he played collegiate summer baseball for the Yarmouth–Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod Baseball League, where he batted .311 with 23 stolen bases in 53 games, was named to the 2014 All-League team, and helped lead the Red Sox to the league championship. At LSU, he was a teammate of shortstop Alex Bregman, the second overall pick in the 2015 draft by the Houston Astros. In both Stevenson and Bregman's final season of college ball, the LSU Tigers reached the 2015 College World Series. En route to the Tigers' World Series berth, Stevenson attracted media attention with an outstanding defensive play in center field. Playing behind starting pitcher Jared Poche, Stevenson leaped toward the warning track and laid out to take away a likely RBI extra-base hit from the University of North Carolina Wilmington's designated hitter. He then scrambled to his feet and threw from deep center field to the second baseman, doubling up the runner on base. The Times-Picayune, writing about the game, referred to Stevenson's play as "The Catch" and compared the LSU outfielder to American football wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., known for his athletic plays on the field. The Tigers ultimately were eliminated in the World Series by the TCU Horned Frogs.
Stevenson was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the second round of the 2015 Major League Baseball draft. He signed with the Nationals and made his professional debut that year with the Gulf Coast Nationals. He was later promoted to the Auburn Doubledays and Hagerstown Suns. In 55 games between the three teams, he batted .308/.363/.379 with one home run, 25 RBIs, and 23 stolen bases.
Stevenson spent 2016 playing for the High-A Potomac Nationals and Class-AA Harrisburg Senators. In 133 combined games, he compiled a .276 batting average with three home runs, 34 RBIs, and 39 stolen bases. After the season, Stevenson was one of a handful of Nationals prospects to play in the Arizona Fall League. Playing for the Glendale Desert Dogs, he led the AFL in hits with 30 and posted a .353 batting average, second in the league, and was named along with Desert Dogs and Senators teammate Drew Ward to the 2016 AFL Top Prospects Team.
Stevenson received an invitation to major league camp in the 2017 season. He played well, impressing Nationals manager Dusty Baker, who remarked of the outfielder, "He's always ready. When I look down there, he's already looking at me." Stevenson was reassigned to minor league camp on March 13.
After beginning his season with Class-AA Harrisburg and hitting .316 in April, Stevenson was promoted to the Class-AAA Syracuse Chiefs. Stevenson struggled in the early going with Syracuse, hitting just .169 over his first 31 games before turning his game around. After amassing a .246 batting average overall as a Chief, Stevenson was promoted to the major leagues on July 23, 2017, after outfielders Chris Heisey and Ryan Raburn were placed on the disabled list and bereavement list, respectively. He made his major league debut the same day, pinch-hitting and coming in on a double switch in the sixth inning to play left field. On July 27, Stevenson notched his first major league hit, lining a pitch into right field off Hernán Pérez of the Milwaukee Brewers — a utility player pitching in the major leagues for the first time, with his team trailing by 13 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning — for a single. The following month, on August 10, he made a diving catch down the left field line to take away an RBI and extra bases from Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon with two outs in the top of the ninth, preserving a 3–2 lead in the game as Nationals closer Sean Doolittle locked down the save. On August 27, Stevenson recorded his first major league RBI with a go-ahead, bases-loaded walk against the New York Mets that gave the Nationals a 5-4 victory. On August 28, the Nationals optioned Stevenson back to Syracuse following the return of left fielder Jayson Werth from the disabled list. On September 7, the Nationals recalled Stevenson. He finished the regular season with the Nationals, having appeared in 37 games, batting .158 with an RBI and a stolen base.
Stevenson began the 2018 season with the Class AAA Syracuse Chiefs, but the Nationals called him up to the major leagues on April 16. Stevenson entered a game on April 25 against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park with only 10 major-league hits and two major-league RBIs in his career, but, playing in left field that day, he went 4-for-5 from the plate with two doubles and a walk and scored two runs as part of a Nationals offensive explosion that ended in a 15–2 Washington victory. After Stevenson appeared in 25 games for Washington, hitting .255 with eight RBIs, the Nationals optioned him back to Syracuse on June 1.
In 2019 he batted .367/.486/.467 in 30 at bats. 2019 would also see him make his postseason debut: pinch-running for Ryan Zimmerman in the 8th inning of the Wild Card Game against the Milwaukee Brewers, he would score the tying run on Juan Soto’s single; acting aggressively due to Stevenson’s speed, Brewers right fielder Trent Grisham misplayed the ball, allowing the eventual winning run to score as well. While not on the playoff roster for the rest of the Nationals’ championship run, Stevenson would take the field before Game 3 of the World Series to catch the ceremonial first pitch from Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
Stevenson was described by Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo after being drafted in 2015 as someone who "plays 100 mph with his hair on fire", a phrase he has also applied to standout players like Bryce Harper and Adam Eaton. He is considered to be one of the faster players in professional baseball, with highly rated defense in center field, although baseball writer John Sickels in 2016 questioned his arm strength and ability to hit consistently. He has a compact swing with great bat speed, but he is not considered a power hitter.
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- Castillo, Jorge, "," washingtonpost.com, April 25, 2018, 7:27 p.m. EDT.
- MiLB.com Andrew Stevenson Stats, Highlights, Bio Retrieved June 8, 2018.
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- Sickels, John (December 9, 2016). "Washington Nationals Top 20 prospects for 2017". Minor League Ball. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
- Brockish, Therron (November 17, 2016). "SCOUT'S VIEW: NATIONALS OF ANDREW STEVENSON". Baseball America. Retrieved December 11, 2016.