He’s been named to All-State teams and was a second team All-Big East selection as a junior at UConn, but now former St. John’s Shrewsbury star John Andreoli is gearing up for his first All Star appearance as a professional.
In just his second full season of pro ball, the Daytona Cubs outfielder was selected to the Florida State League All-Star game, being held tonight in Dunedin, Florida.
A smooth hitting speedster, Andreoli has been peppering the opposition all season long to the tune of 70 hits and a .318 batting average in 57 games.
He played the entire 2012 season with Daytona and impressed with a .289 average and 55 stolen bases, earning post season All-Star honors in the Florida State League.
Now Andreoli will actually get to partake in the mid-summer festivities as he has shown no let down between season, raising his game with each step he has taken in his career.
“It’s a tremendous honor anytime you get an accolade like this,” said a humble Andreoli. “It just shows that all the offseason prep and in-season work was worth everything put into it. It’s a great honor.”
Coming into this season the Cubs had changed hitting coaches, bringing in two-time World Series champion Mariano Duncan.
Andreoli credits Duncan’s experience as something that has helped him gain an even greater appreciation for what he needs to do to get better at the plate.
“He has taught me how to attack each at bat,” Andreoli explained. “How to work deeper into counts and make pitchers make mistakes. He’s a guy with over 1000 big league at bats, so he knows what he is talking about.”
These lessons have helped Andreoli stay consistent at the plate throughout this year, hitting .319 in April, .316 in May and now .323 in nine June games.
The stolen base is another aspect of his game that makes him a stand out, having already swiped 78 bases in his young career.
Despite his 55 steals a year ago, he got caught 20 times and that is something he is also improving on, having already stolen 20 this season while only getting caught three times.
“Success rate means a lot,” said Andreoli who has been successful in his last 14 attempts, having not been thrown out since April 27th. “You don’t want to give the other team free outs. Baseball as a whole is about shifting up and getting free bases. It’s a huge part of the game.”
Another huge part of Andreoli’s game is on the defensive side where he is capable of handling any outfield position thanks to that speed that provides great range.
In 182 games he has made just nine errors on 351 chances and he has even gunned down 17 players that dared to advance a base on him.
Now, as he continues to improve at the Advanced Class-A level, Andreoli should have every opportunity to show off his tools and get a bump up to the next level, but it is not something that occupies too much of his time.
“I show up every day and play each game as if it’s going to be my last,” said Andreoli. “Just having the ability to play every day at this level is better than pushing to get time elsewhere. I’m just to continue to get positive at bats and continue to grow as a player every day.”
And as Andreoli continues to grow, so too should the experiences like he will bask in tonight.
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