There will be a time when Kyle Schwarber comes back from COVID quarantine and Andrew Stevenson returns to the bench. When that happens the Washington Nationals will have their best pinch hitter back. Until then, Stevo will continue to rake as a starter.
Carrying a twelve game hitting streak into the game today, Stevenson picked up right where he left off last season. Grinding out at-bats, hitting the baseball, and igniting the offense, that’s just what he does.
Outfielder Andrew Stevenson continued his hitting ways, helping the Washington Nationals to a win on “Opening Day”.
The $10.5M team option Washington declined on Adam Eaton was going to happen regardless of how Stevenson performed in his spot starts to end the season. The fact Stevenson hit .366 over his last 71 major league at-bats solidified him as a fourth outfielder option entering this season. This decision was made possible by non-tendering Michael A. Taylor as well. What Stevenson lacks in power (3 HR in 203 ABs), he makes up for in clutching hitting (.317 career with RISP).
On Opening Day, Stevenson reached base three times, on two singles and an error (questionable call by the scorekeeper), and smacked the ball well to center field on the lone out he committed.
The calmness with which Stevenson approaches his at-bats has become somewhat of a staple for the Nationals. Trailing by a run in the seventh inning, he drove a 2-2 pitch to right field, becoming the potential tying run. He made it as far as third base before being stranded. With the Nationals still facing a deficit the following inning, Stevenson poked an infield hit, allowing the tying run to sneak in.
We’ve said all along there is a reason the Nationals used a second round pick on this guy in the 2015 draft. To this point he has played sparingly over parts of four seasons and deserves the chance to show what he can do getting semi-regular at-bats. He won’t displace Schwarber, though he is having fun and giving fans something to talk about.