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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno+Grizzlies+outfielder+EJ+Andrews+Jr.+swings+at+the+Chukchansi+Park+on+April+9.
Wyatt Bible
Fresno Grizzlies outfielder EJ Andrews Jr. swings at the Chukchansi Park on April 9.

From paws to claws

EJ Andrews Jr. wears Fresno with pride.

Former Fresno State baseball player EJ Andrews Jr. has paved his way into a leadership role in Minor League Baseball with the low single A Fresno Grizzlies.

Andrews Jr. is entering his third season with the Grizzlies’ parent club, Colorado Rockies, after getting drafted in 2022.

“He’s a team leader, so to speak, doesn’t have to be so vocal, but he leads by example,” said Grizzlies Manager Steve Soliz.

The Grizzlies have finished the first seven games of the season 5-2, and Andrews Jr. has accumulated five runs and four RBIs. He has also taken on the right-field position, having 10 putouts this far.

“[Leadership] has been one of the things I kind of take pride in,” Andrews Jr. said.

Not only this season, but his entire minors career has been a standout, totaling 111 runs, 93 RBIs and 17 home runs.

“He’s a very exciting player,” Soliz said. “You know, I’ve always said he can impact baseball in the batter’s box. He’s got a lot of power… defense. He possesses a nice above-average throwing arm. He can go get it in all three positions in the outfield. On the bases he’s got some speed, so he’s got all the parts. Now we just got to put it all together on a consistent basis.”

Andrews Jr. describes his transition to the Grizzlies as “pretty seamless” all connecting to his roots at Fresno State.

“One of the first phones [calls] I had was Jermaine Clark. He was actually one of my assistant coaches at Fresno State,” Andrews Jr. told The Collegian. “He was the first one to call me after I got drafted and said, ‘Hey, the Rockies are after you, but you’re going back to Fresno.’”

Andrews Jr. played for the Diamond ‘Dogs from 2019-21 under the coaching of Mike Batesole.

During his last collegiate season in 2021, he earned second team All-Mountain West honors. Andrews Jr. finished as the top 18th overall player in the Mountain West with 54 hits, 38 runs, 29 RBIs and nine home runs.

His nine home runs tied him for ninth in the Mountain West for most home runs in the conference.

“I got the chance to be a captain at Fresno State, so I kind of have that background a little bit,” Andrews Jr. said.

Now, he is playing in the same town where he played his collegiate baseball career.

“Having that same kind of group of fans, and friends and family that have watched me come into college as a 17-year-old and now as I’m 23, I kind of have the same people watching and rooting me on, so that’s really awesome to have,” Andrews Jr. said.

Andrews Jr. ties playing at Chukchansi Park to Fresno State because the two frequently bring back memories every time he’s in the batter’s box. With every hit that he gets, the ballpark will play the Fresno State fight song.

“Definitely happy to be back in Fresno,” Andrews Jr. said.

Andrews Jr. can be seen on the field at Chukchansi Park all season long.

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About the Contributors
Alexis Bruno
Alexis Bruno, Sports Editor
Alexis Bruno is class of 2025 and the Sports Editor for The Collegian. Alexis has been writing for The Collegian since 2023 and specializes in writing sports. Alexis is an MCJ broadcasting major and wants to pursue a career in sports sideline reporting.
Wyatt Bible
Wyatt Bible, Senior Graphic Designer
Wyatt Bible is a 5th year Graphic Designer for The Collegian. He has worked as a photographer and graphic designer for The Collegian for 8 semesters. Wyatt is a Graphic Design BFA major and looks to pursue a career as a graphic designer.
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