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Chinooks in the Minors: Andrew Stevenson

 

A look at how Lakeshore Chinook alumni performed throughout baseball in 2016 . . .

 

Andrew Stevenson - Harrisburg SenatorsGrafton, WI – When Andrew Stevenson first arrived at Kapco Park in late June during the 2013 season, the Lakeshore front office was hopeful that his natural abilities would blossom and be on display for the Chinook faithful, but the quiet kid from Lafayette, LA took his time adjusting to life in the north country after a thrilling ride to the NCAA College World Series with the LSU Tigers. Though the former Louisville Slugger High School All-American had hit just .193 for the Tigers, the aggressive outfielder set an example of hard work and determination throughout the summer. In his fifth game, Stevenson went 3 for 5 against the Green Bay Bullfrogs to start a roll at the plate that would earn him the club’s Kapco Steel Slugger award as the team’s top hitter with a .345 and help lead the Chinooks to their first-ever NWL playoff appearance.

Since that summer, Stevenson has been a roll as he returned to LSU and hit .345 as a sophomore in 2014, .348 as a junior in 2015, and was named a 2014 All-Star in the Cape Cod where he hit .327. Professional teams took notice, with the Washington Nationals grabbing him in the second round of the 2015 MLB Draft. And since being drafted, Stevenson has continued the roll as he made quick work of Class A ball in 2015, hitting a combined .308 in stops with the National’s rookie team, the Class A Auburndale Doubledays, and the Class A Hagerstown Suns. In 2016, Stevenson began with the Advanced A Potomac Nationals hitting .306 and being selected as a Carolina League All-Star, before being elevated to Class AA Harrisburg. After a slow start adjusting to the next level, Stevenson worked his way back to a .246 average, but continued to impress the organization with his work as a grinder, a player who uses all of his toils and continues to work every day.

For his efforts, Stevenson was selected as a franchise All-Star in the outfield and has been ranked as the club’s fifth best prospect, earning him the opportunity to play in the 2016 Arizona Fall League along with former Chinooks Brian Anderson, Harrison Bader, and Josh Uhen. Stevenson excelled in the desert against the finest of minor league pitchers, batting .353 (2nd highest in the league) and stealing nine bases for the Glendale Desert Dogs, and cemented his position as one of the top Washington prospects. The quiet, hard-working southern kid will now enter the 2017 season with an invitation to the club's major league spring training camp as a non-roster invitee, but before he does, took time to answer a few questions for the fans at Lakeshore:

Photo Credit: Harrisburg Senators/Will BentzelWhat are your expectations for this season?

I expect myself to put in the work so that I give myself the best opportunity to succeed on the field. I expect to play hard every single day.

What are you doing in the off-season to prepare?  

This off season I'm living in Baton Rouge and training at LSU. I'm in the cages just about every day and I get on the field when I have the opportunity. I'm also training in the weight room to get stronger and faster

What is the hardest thing about minor leagues? 

I would say the hardest part is making sure you are mentally and physically prepared to play seven days a week. In the minor leagues there aren't many off-days, so you have to figure out what helps your body recover and be ready for the next day.

Best advice or instruction you've received in minors?

Don't dwell on a game for too long. Take the good and the bad and learn from it.

How did the Lakeshore Chinooks help prepare you for your career?

That was my first taste of playing every day of the week. So going into the minors I had that confidence that I could play every day at a high level. I enjoyed my time playing for the Chinooks and it has definitely helped shape me into the player I am today.

What did you learn in the Arizona Fall League and how will that help your development?

The fall league allowed me to play with and against some of the best talent in the minor leagues. You get to talk to other players and see what their approaches are in different situations and talk about some of the little things that make them successful.

To follow the progress of any of the Lakeshore alums who are playing professional baseball, click on the Alumni tab under the Team section at the top of this page.  Click on a specific player’s name to open a link to view their MLB bio page.

The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 160 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.lakeshorechinooks.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Chinooks as your favorite team.