Andrew Stevenson is making a strong case for more playing time next year. Dare the Washington Nationals anoint him their leadoff hitter?
You really don’t take a player in the 2nd round of the draft and hope all you get out of him is spot starts and pinch running appearances do you? Andrew Stevenson is making some noise late in the season, hoping to force his way into the lineup next year.
Stevenson was drafted in 2015, debuted in 2017, and hasn’t played more than 57 games in a season since breaking onto the scene.
Last season he hit .367 in 30 games, though in all but five games he appeared as a pinch-hitter. He was used as a pinch runner in the Wild Card game against Milwaukee last season, though left off the roster for the rest of the postseason.
With Adam Eaton going on the injured list this year, and Trea Turner being moved down the batting order, Stevenson has been thrust into action as the new leadoff hitter.
Entering play Saturday, Stevenson was batting .333 and in the middle of a nine game hitting streak. His home run off New York Mets starter Jacob deGrom today, extended the streak.
The Nationals have moved Juan Soto to right field, sending messages to many they are grooming left field for a big free agent signing. This most likely will be the case, and as much as we like Stevenson, he is not a fit to start every day in the outfield. He simply doesn’t have enough power.
Stevenson followed up his traditional home run against deGrom today, with an inside-the-park home run, as the Mets outfielder was hurt colliding with the wall. These two HRs now give him three for his career, in 195 major league at-bats.
He is a great guy to have on the bench, however. He is a high energy player, with a lot of speed. Stevenson can play all three outfield positions, run like the wind, and hold his own with his glove. While he won’t be in the starting lineup next year, he’ll surely be on the opening day roster. He sure has been fun to watch these last few weeks of the season.
Way to go, Stevo!