Andrew Stevenson OF Syracuse Chiefs L/L
Future Grades Hit (50+) Power (30) Arm (35) Defense (55) Run (60+)
Stevenson was Washington’s top selection in the 2015 MLB Draft, 58th overall and quickly agreed to a $750,000 bonus after three years at Louisiana State University. Listed at 6-0 185lbs, Stevenson has noticeably filled out since college, especially his upper body, and looks closer to 195-200lbs. He is a tremendous athlete, with good first-step quickness and outstanding speed, easily clocking in the 4.05 second range home to first from the left side. He plays with outstanding hustle and a grinder mentality, which contributes to his excellent makeup, although I have seen him frustrated by questionable calls – this is a result of his passion but something to reign in going forward.
Defensively Stevenson utilizes his excellent quickness and speed to cover significant ground in center field. He shows solid instincts and takes quality routes to the baseball. He possesses a below-average arm, although it has improved with the additional muscle mass. His athleticism and instincts allow him to play all three outfield positions, but he profiles best in center or left field. The arm strength is a concern, but Stevenson profiles as an above-average defender in center and plus in left field.
At the plate Stevenson has refined his swing since being drafted, eliminating some pre-swing movement and shortening his swing to combat velocity on the inner half. Even with his improved strength, he does not project to hit more than a handful of home runs annually. Stevenson understands his role as a table-setter who works the count, gets on-base and capitalizes on his speed to score runs. There is swing-and-miss in his game, but this could decrease in the future as his swing changes become more natural. Stevenson projects as a .270+ hitter who hits a couple home runs and provides a reasonable on-base percentage.
Stevenson is a high-floor, medium ceiling outfield prospect with the potential for three average or better tools. In the field Stevenson looks at home in center field, where his impressive skills allow him to overcome his mediocre arm to project as above-average. Offensively there are concerns within the profile, as his difficulties with velocity and lack of power could leave him vulnerable to major league pitching. These issues will keep him from being an impact hitter, making his ability to make contact and reach base vital to his major league future. If he improves these flaws, Stevenson has a ceiling as a 2nd division starter, with his likely outcome being a valuable reserve outfielder.
* Editor’s Note – Early Sunday Stevenson was promoted to Washington to replace Chris Heisey, who went on the disabled list. He appears to be in line for a 2-week big-league cameo before Heisey, Michael A. Taylor or Jayson Werth returns from injury.*