One of the players making the biggest noise in camp this spring is non-roster invitee John Andreoli. The 25-year old outfielder leads the Cubs in longballs this spring. Andreoli hit his fourth on Thursday night and he’s making quite the impression on Joe Maddon and the coaching staff.
Injuries to Matt Szczur, Shane Victorino and Matt Murton opened the door for more playing time for Andreoli. And he’s taken advantage of the opportunity.
John Andreoli is 10-for-27 in 15 games with a triple and four home runs (.370/.419/.889) for a 1.308 OPS. Andreoli has walked three times with 13 strikeouts.
Andreoli went yard for the fourth time Thursday night, and his third homer of the spring was of the inside the park variety.
Joe Maddon likes what he’s seen from Andreoli this spring. Maddon shared his thoughts about the outfielder during an in-game conversation Wednesday with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies.
“He’s nice. He plays with his hair on fire all the time. He’s a strong kid. He’s a five-tool guy. He’s the kind of a guy that people refrain from putting that label on just because I think they’re concerned that he’s not had enough publicity so you can’t say that,” Maddon said. “But this guy hits, hits with power, can run, fine arm and plays defense. And the sixth tool, man the guy comes to play every day. I’m telling you he’s very, very interesting.”
Andreoli flashed more power early in camp during coach-pitched batting practice sessions than he had in his minor league career.
In 106 games for the I-Cubs last season, Andreoli hit .277/.372/.401 with 20 doubles, six triples and five home runs for a .773 OPS. Over five seasons in the system, Andreoli has a .278/.374/.368 line with 64 doubles, 24 triples and eight home runs for a .742 OPS.
John Andreoli has impressed the Cubs brass during Spring Training. It would be a long shot for the non-roster invitee to make the team out of camp. The Cubs have other players on the 40-man roster out of options that could take the last spot on the Opening Day roster. As Jesse Rogers reported, Andreoli will likely make his big league debut this season “if and when the Cubs need to dip into the minors for an outfielder.”
The Cubs have a lot of depth throughout the system with players like John Andreoli that may never make a prospect list but can still help the team win games at the highest level. Andreoli may get his shot at some point this year after opening eyes in camp this spring.