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Baseball in the District: Nats 2nd round pick Andrew Stevenson

Jun 11, 2015, 6:09 PM EDT

Jun 1, 2013; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers outfielder AndrewnStevenson (6) catches the ball for an out in the fifth inning against the Sam Houston State Bearkats during the Baton Rouge regional of the 2013 NCAA baseball tournament at Alex Box Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

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On this week’s episode of ‘Baseball in the District,’ Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I welcomed in a very special guest in Nationals’ second round pick Andrew Stevenson, a center fielder from LSU.

Stevenson is in Omaha with the Tigers getting ready to compete in the College World Series this weekend. It was great getting to know the speedy outifelder, who could someday be a big piece of the Nats’ lineup.

Before bringing on Stevenson, Tim and I broke down the trade for David Carpenter and the possibility of Danny Espinosa starting in left field.

You can listen to the show on ESPN 980’s website or download it on iTunes.

  1. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 11, 2015 at 6:19 PM

    I expect the day after LSU finishes the season Stevenson will sign and probably under slot in $700,000 to $799,000.

    • nats128 - Jun 12, 2015 at 10:46 AM

      We are going to hold you to it.

      • nats128 - Jun 12, 2015 at 10:48 AM

        $1,058,000 is the draft slot value so if they are able to only pay $700,000 it saves them $358,000 to pay towards other players.

        I hope your right!

        http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/2015-mlb-draft-slots/

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2015 at 11:03 AM

        Please do and just to give an exact number I’d say $749,500 but you can certainly round that up to the nearest thousand.

    • nats128 - Jun 12, 2015 at 11:00 AM

      Who do you comp Stevenson to as a player?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2015 at 11:06 AM

        I’d comp him as I said during the draft as a 4th outfielder like Roger Bernadina. It’s the bat that concerns me as his swing doesn’t generate pop like Roger had but I also don’t expect a high K/9 from Stevenson.

        I expect him to sign right away and then to get a retooling of his swing.

        Stevenson could surprise and show more upside, time will tell.

    • Sonny G 10 - Jun 12, 2015 at 1:39 PM

      Ghost, I love your intestinal fortitude, or your sources, whichever you’ve used to make your statement. I sure hope it turns out to be true.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2015 at 1:45 PM

        All I know is Rizzo was willing to pay a little over $500,000 for that slot and the agent wants $1 million which is about slot but Stevenson was never rated close to the top 100 players and the agent knows that and will take a huge compromise off the slot.

        This is a no-brainer after the little debacle with Suarez.

      • Sonny G 10 - Jun 12, 2015 at 1:46 PM

        This was supposed to post with your first comment regarding the compensation for Stevenson. I like your second statement also. I too am a little bit concerned about his bat. I don’t really care if he doesn’t have “pop” if he will hit with a high batting average and have a high on base average. Everything we need for a good lead-off hitter is what I’m hoping for.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2015 at 1:57 PM

        Sonny, thanks for that. I think a leadoff guy is more toolsy and needs to be higher OBP vs a prolific power guy. A player is is known for top defense fits the toolbelt philosophy.

        Hoping to see Stevenson in July in Hagerstown.

  2. thecynicin408 - Jun 11, 2015 at 6:47 PM

    As an avid LSU fan, it’s a welcome development to have one of our players coming into the organization. I believe most LSU fans were surprised that Stevenson went this high, as this was above the projections we had seen.

    As you’ve seen reported elsewhere, Stevenson seems to be a gamer. He’s started three years in Baton Rouge, including his freshman year when he was batting below .200. That tells you that Paul Manieri believed his defense was very valuable. He seemed to find a key to raising his average the summer following his freshman season in the Northwoods league and he’s batted for a 300+ average since (Soph and Junior seasons and in Cape Cod last summer). Still has an unusual swing, but Rizzo has suggested the Nats already have some ideas about tweaking that.

    He is very quick, both in centerfield and on the bases. He’s made many very nice plays in the outfield and there’s no reason to doubt he will do so as a professional.

    Manieri loves him, so he should get high marks for “make up.” All in all, I’m really pumped at the thought he’ll make it to the big club eventually and hope to see him in Potomac or elsewhere sooner.

    Now, I hope that the “day after” which Ghost mentions is still a couple of weeks away; realistically, LSU has not won a gamin Omaha since the CWS moved from Rosenblatt to the new stadium. Maybe that changes this year, but the bats up and down the lineup were unexpectedly quiet in both the regional and the super regional.

    • NatsLady - Jun 11, 2015 at 6:58 PM

      Thanks so much for info. Hopefully it will be an inspiration for Stevenson to go higher than expected, and he’ll prove he’s worth it.

    • thecynicin408 - Jun 11, 2015 at 7:10 PM

      Having now listened to the web cast, I see that my comments above didn’t add much to the interview with Andrew. Plus I messed up “game in Omaha” to “gamin Omaha.” An edit feature would be nice.

      • natsfan1a - Jun 11, 2015 at 7:21 PM

        I don’t generally take the time to listen to download or listen to webcasts, so I appreciated reading your input.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 11, 2015 at 8:35 PM

        Yes, thank for that great scouting, and FWIW, I think you have swell gams.

    • nataddicted - Jun 11, 2015 at 7:49 PM

      Very Helpful, Thank You thecincyin408.

    • laddieblahblah - Jun 12, 2015 at 6:50 AM

      Thank you for taking the time to fill us in. Rizzo always seems to be ahead of the curve. If anyone can improve Stevenson’s swing mechanics its the Nats player development staff. The other essential ingredient for making that happen is the player’s own makeup. Looks like a great fit, at least in theory.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2015 at 11:29 AM

        In a crazy twist of events I could see Stevenson fast tracked for a September call up to use his tools if a 40 man spot was available. This system was so lacking in speed and defense other than Difo that Rizzo used his first 2 picks for Stevenson and Perkins!

        The Nats had no speed burners on the bench last postseason and Rizzo made this a priority after he traded Burns (big mistake there). Speed doesn’t grow on trees

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2015 at 11:25 AM

      Rizzo wants to fast track Stevenson as a toolsy bench guy with speed and defense and if you read my pre-draft projection was a 5th round speedster who could play defense in the outfield.

      Stevenson was that guy and Rizzo went all in at #58 but he will not pay him slot. Interesting that Rizzo then got the same comp in his next pick to get Blake Perkins who has similar tools but more power.

  3. nats128 - Jun 12, 2015 at 2:06 PM

    Tim Murray “They have to put Espinosa in leftfield”.

    Interesting PodCast.

  4. nats128 - Jun 12, 2015 at 2:12 PM

    The Ryan Zimmerman discussion at the 23 minute mark which was taped before RZ was on the DL is fascinating on Chase’s discussion with Ryan on Sunday. How quick things change.

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