|Pos||High School / College||Consensus Rank|
||St. Pius X HS (TX)
||early 1st round|
|B/T||Birthdate (age)||Height / Weight|
|R/R||10/7/94 (18)||6'3" / 190 lbs
A well-rounded, two-sport athlete, Kohl Stewart is a tall, lanky right-hander who has potential to add some more strength with a little bit more weight. The prospect of the youngster adding more zip to his fastball is made even more impressive, because his fastball already sits in the mid 90s and tops out at 97 MPH. In addition to the pitch’s velocity, Stewart’s fastball also has a lot of sinking action. It sometimes flattens out when the timing of his wind-up gets out of synch, but at this point in his career, he is blowing batters away with pure speed anyway. His slider is already considered a plus pitch, clocking in at close to 90 MPH with very sharp break. Stewart also throws a change-up, but it lags behind his two other pitches- that isn’t a knock against the change as much as it shows how advanced his fastball and slider arm. With a little work, the change-up can be a very solid pitch; it sits in the low 80s, generates about 15 MPH of speed differential as compared to the fastball, and has a lot of sinking action as it approaches the plate.
Stewart’s delivery is surprisingly fluid for someone throwing the kind of heat he does. It is a very straightforward ¾ arm slot with nothing fancy going on, but the ball explodes out of his hand. If he pushed off the rubber more, he would utilize more of his trunk, and might be able to generate more velocity on his already plus fastball. As if the polished Texas product couldn’t get any better, Stewart has some pop in his bat as well, with a .384/.461/.779 batting line and 10 home runs in 102 at-bats in 2013.
Video (via ESPN Insider):
What the scouts/analysts are saying:
Keith Law, ESPN:
"He hit 96 mph and sat 92-94 consistently, showing a plus slider at 85-88, a hard curveball at 79-82, and even a few changeups at 83-84 with decent arm speed."
Mark Anderson, Baseball Prospect Nation:
"Huge risk associated with him because he is so raw and there are unknowns with the developmental path once he focuses on baseball. Boom or bust type."
Matt Garrioch, Minor League Ball:
"The highest ceiling arm in the draft."
What Alex is saying:
Kohl Stewart has one thing going for him that makes him stand above every other prep pitcher in this class: arm strength. He can hit 97 on the gun and even has room to add velocity thanks to an athletic, lanky frame. He also shows a wipeout slider that can be as good as any you’ll see this year. Unfortunately, he’s just not quite there yet mechanically. His arm is lightning quick, so quick that he has timing issues despite having a little more room left in his stride. He also needs to polish up his follow through, which can be overly short. Most simply, he just needs to grow into his body. The good news is he pronates quickly, and the athleticism means he should take to pro coaching. I like Stewart a lot, but I worry about some health issues this season--a sore shoulder, hamstring, and thumb--and think he may take a little more time than many prep pitchers.