Joshua Stevenson has looked to his brother, Andrew, for advice throughout his baseball career.
Stevenson, a senior outfielder at St. Thomas More Catholic High School in Lafayette, Louisiana, is seven years younger than his older brother. He has first-hand experience watching Andrew develop into a highly-successful collegiate player at Louisiana State and then a second-round pick by the Washington Nationals in the 2015 MLB draft.
Andrew has spent parts of four seasons playing for the Nationals. He hit .366 with seven doubles, one triple, two home runs, and 12 RBIs in 15 games last season. He also excelled in 30 regular-season games during the 2019 season when the Nationals went on to win the World Series.
This offseason, Stevenson has hit and worked out with his brother nearly every day, he said. It has been an invaluable experience to learn from his brother as he prepares for his final prep season and the 2021 draft. Stevenson is an intriguing prospect for July’s draft.
“It is nice being with someone who has been through it,” Stevenson said. “Hearing how he’s had his ups and downs and knowing that he made it to the highest level but has areas he wants to improve on has helped. That has helped me as a person to stay positive through it all and not freak out about the little things.”
Stevenson is eager to see how the draft process plays out. He is more physical and a better hitter than Andrew was at the same age.
Besides being a draft prospect, Stevenson also is an LSU commit. He verbally committed to LSU as a freshman in October 2017.
“The draft process has already been a cool experience,” Stevenson said. “I have been given some pretty cool opportunities to go play with some high-end talent in showcase events. To hear your name on that level is really cool and humbling to hear.”
Stevenson is a 6-foot-1, 195-pound left-handed hitter who uses a slightly crouched setup and spread stance. He keeps his hand back and has a line-drive approach at the plate.
Defensively, he has speed and range in the outfield. Stevenson plays center field for his high school team. He also has played all three outfield positions but believes center field is his long-term position.
“I think my biggest strength is just my skills in the outfield,” Stevenson said. “With my bat, I consistently find the barrel, and I always have that to go to. I might not always hit home runs, but I can find a way when things aren’t always going right. That mindset helps me.”
Stevenson has used the offseason to refine his skills in all facets of the game. His top priority is improving his mental approach to the game throughout his senior season, he said.
“I am just working on the little things and just taking the time I have with my brother and listening to him on his mentality,” Stevenson said. “I just want to improve my game as a whole and just develop a strong mental side of the game.”
Stevenson has had a strong relationship with LSU head coach Paul Mainieri since his brother played for the Tigers. He also saw his brother’s development into a draft prospect throughout his three years at LSU. Those two factors caused Stevenson to commit to LSU early in his freshman year.
“It was cool to see the recruiting process play out,” Stevenson said. “LSU came onto me early. They reached out to me when I was going into my freshman year of high school. They took me to the facility and laid down an offer. I discussed it with my family, and after having Andrew go through that process, it was really a no brainer for me. I loved going to watch Andrew play there and just knew it was home.”
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for six years. He’s interviewed 253 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.