FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The Fresno Grizzlies begin the 2023 season on Thursday in San Jose, and they will do so with eight returning players from last year.

One of those eight is EJ Andrews, Jr., a former Fresno State Bulldog.

“A better opportunity for me just with more playing time and stuff like that, but it’s also, it’s nice to know that they kind of want me to be a leader of this team,” said Andrews, Jr., a 13th-round draft pick of the Colorado Rockies in 2021. “They put me with the Fresno group in spring training and everything like that, so I really got to know these guys. It’s a really good clubhouse, really good group of guys here.”

EJ Andrews, Jr. appeared in 80 games for the Grizzlies last season. He hit .231 with four home runs.

“He’s repeating, but I don’t look at it so much as repeating, because it wasn’t an everyday role last year,” said new Grizzlies manager Steve Soliz. “He’s gonna get more playing time and I’m rooting for him.

“And you know what? He’s a Bulldog, so why wouldn’t you root for him.”