22. LHP/OF Clayton Andrews
The two-way player trend is something the Milwaukee Brewers have gotten in on, with Clayton Andrews being the latest in group led by Shohei Ohtani of the Angels and Brendan McKay of the Rays. Andrews is slightly different than both of those players, however.
Drafted in the 17th round in 2018, Andrews stands at just 5’6″ tall and 160 pounds, but he hasn’t let that stop him so far. After all, it’s not unprecedented for a player of that height to have success at the big league level, Jose Altuve of the Astros is the same height and he’s done quite well.
Let’s take a look at Andrews as a pitcher first. He doesn’t throw very hard, similar to Zavolas, topping out in the upper 80s, but he pairs it with a plus changeup and a hammer of a curveball. The changeup is his best pitch and he mixes all three together quite well, which helps his sub-par fastball seem tougher to hitters.
In 59.1 IP last year, Andrews struck out 77 batters, and in the Arizona Fall League, Andrews struck out 20 batters in just 11.2 IP.
Andrews, 23, is suited for a bullpen role on the mound, but he can pitch multiple innings and in late-game situations, kind of similar to the role Josh Hader has, except their arsenal and style of pitching are completely opposite. Andrews probably won’t ever reach Hader level of success, but he can make it as a solid big league lefty reliever.
As a hitter, Andrews plays the outfield, normally manning center field. He employs a patient approach at the plate, and is a solid contact hitter. He does not have much for power, and likely never will, but with his speed and contact ability, he could make for a solid leadoff hitter down the line if he continues to improve on offense.
Andrews was drafted as a pitcher and that’s likely to be his main role in the big leagues. But if his bat continues to develop, there’s a chance he could be the next two-way threat in baseball. He’s got a ways to go, and the odds are against that, but he’s been beating them so far, and he has already made his way to Double-A and could be in the big leagues sooner rather than later.
He’s certainly a player to keep an eye on moving forward with his two-way ability and proximity to the majors. He lands at No. 22 on our Top Prospects list.