Player: Kohl Stewart
Drafted by: Minnesota Twins (No. 4 Overall)
DOB: 10/7/1994 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6’3”/195 lbs
School: St. Pius X HS (Texas)
College Commitment: Texas A&M
Although Stewart hasn’t received the same amount of exposure as a majority of the other first-round hopefuls, it hasn’t affected the likelihood of a top-10 overall selection.
A two-sport standout in baseball and football (quarterback) for St. Pius X High School (Texas), the 6’3”, 215-pounder is committed to Texas A&M for both sports and is regarded as a potential successor to Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
His exploits on the football field are arguably as impressive as those on the diamond: Over the course of his high school career, Stewart accumulated 8,831 passing yards and 86 touchdowns, while rushing for 483 yards and an additional six touchdowns.
Due to his dedication to both sports, Stewart made only a few appearances on the summer showcase circuit—but when he did, the right-hander left an indelible impression. Furthermore, he suffered a shoulder injury in his first football game of the year during the fall that inevitably worsened and ultimately delayed his start to the baseball season.
However, the shoulder injury no longer appears to be an issue; Stewart has dominated this spring with two plus pitches and established himself as a lock to be selected in the first half of the first round.
The only question is how early he’ll need to be drafted and paid in order to forgo his dual-sport commitment to Texas A&M.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is average, with the current score first and projected score second.
Highly projectable 6’3”, 195-pound frame; room to add strength; excellent athlete with present physicality; inconsistent delivery that will need to be cleaned up as a professional; tends to drift rather than drive toward the plate; prevents hips from exploding following foot strike; will rely too much on arm strength; release point will vary; creates excellent plane from low three-quarters slot; issues in delivery can make his naturally fast arm lag behind.
Most natural arm strength among 2013 prep prospects; plus velocity; consistently registers in the 91-95 mph range on a downhill plane; has touched 97; difficult to lift with late sink and run to the arm side; fringy command of pitch due to mechanics; could sit in the mid-90s with more efficient delivery.
Present plus offering; thrown with velocity in the low-to-mid-80s; ideal depth and tilt with tight spin; features late-diving action out of the zone; swing-and-miss offering that will be a legitimate out-pitch at the next level; tends to over-grip and spike the pitch when delivery is out-of-sync.
Flashes slightly above-average potential in the low-80s; undeveloped offering due to lack of necessity at the high school level; slight fade and sink that stands to improve as he gains a feel for the pitch; should generate more fade to the arm side with more wrist/hand pronation.
Fringy mechanics limit his ability to pound the zone; aggressive approach and top-notch pure stuff have allowed him to dominate high school hitters; effectively wild at times; release-point issues result in too many wasted pitches either high or to the arm side.
Stewart’s ability to command his three-pitch mix throughout the strike zone is tied to the repetition of his delivery and release point; fastball command is especially poor but has room to improve; showcases a feel for how to put away hitters when ahead in the count; tends to work according to his strengths; will to need to get ahead of more hitters as a professional.
MLB Player Comparison: Shelby Miller
Projection: Ceiling of a high-end No. 2 starter; potential All-Star; No. 4 starter, dynamic closer floor.
MLB ETA: 2017
Chances of Signing: 60%