By selecting Kohl Stewart with the fourth overall pick in the MLB Draft, the Minnesota Twins are taking a huge risk. Not only is Stewart being drafted out of high school—which always comes with its own set of risks—but Stewart also has a football scholarship to Texas A&M on the table which he is rumored to be still considering. It would be hard to believe that Stewart would pass up a chance at Major League type of money that he is bound to get with the Twins at the fourth pick, but crazier things have happened in the draft and with dual-sport youngsters like Stewart, anything can happen.
If Stewart does indeed sign with the Twins, the team certainly has a very talented and potential filled right-hander that has the top-of-the-rotation type of stuff that the Twins crave. As I mentioned in my preview of the five players the Twins could target—which can be accessed by clicking here—Stewart displays a mid-90s fastball and a mid-80s slider that has “plus pitch” written all over it. He’s been working on developing a low-80s curveball and a change-up as well, but both pitches are considered works in progress as of now. It has also been reported that Baseball America claimed that Stewart’s pure stuff is as good as Mark Appel’s and Jonathan Gray’s, who went number one and number three overall respectively in this year’s draft.
Other analysts around baseball also had rave reviews—but also hints of caution—of Stewart as Mark Anderson from Baseball Prospect Nation best put it, “Huge risk associated with him (Stewart) because he is so raw and there are unknowns with the developmental path once he focuses on baseball. Boom or bust type.”
Matt Garrioch, on the other hand, from Minor League Ball believed that Stewart was, “The highest ceiling arm in the draft.”
No matter who you talk to, they all believe that Stewart is a very talented pitcher with unlimited potential; but whether or not Stewart lives up to that potential will be the key.
Stewart will now join a Twins’ minor league system that features talented prospects such as Alex Meyer, Trevor May, Jose Berrios and Kyle Gibson. Although the Twins’ current rotation has a lot left to be desired, the future certainly holds a lot of promise. Stewart is likely three to five years away from making it to the majors, but he certainly is a huge part of the Twins’ future and could be one of the biggest contributors to a Twins turnaround over the next few seasons.
By selecting Stewart fourth overall, the Twins may have added a future star in the making; but proceed with caution Twins’ fans because the Twins may also have drafted the next Travis Lee, a player the Twins drafted number two overall in 1996 who never played a game in a Twins’ uniform. For Twins fans and Stewart’s sake, let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself.