Days after the Minnesota Twins selected prep pitcher Kohl Stewart with the fourth overall pick in the MLB Draft, Stewart and his family members announced that he intended to pass up his football scholarship offer to Texas A&M and sign with the Twins. In case you didn’t know, Stewart—the number six ranked pocket passer in the country—signed a letter of intent to play football at Texas A&M in February and was debating whether or not to follow up on his commitment prior to the draft. It was rumored that if Stewart didn’t like where he was drafted or when he was drafted, he may choose to go play football at Texas A&M which prompted me to sound the caution alarm out of fear the Twins may lose their first round pick. It seems as if I may have misread the situation with Stewart; but make no mistake about it, I’m not completely sold that he’s fully committed long-term quite yet.
According to ESPN, when asked if he had his mind made up on what he was going to do prior to the draft, Stewart stated that, “I planned on going to A&M, that was my plan all along. I didn’t know when I was going to get drafted or if I was going to get drafted or how that was all going to play out. Last night, getting drafted, was when I made that call. I planned to go to A&M since they wanted me. My plan was to go to college. I didn’t have this opportunity until last night. Now that it’s on the table, now’s the time to make that call.”
In a separate interview with the Houston Chronicle, Stewart was less decisive. He stated that, “The Twins, they picked me, and they expect me to sign,” Stewart said. “I’m not going to say 100 percent for sure, but I’m looking forward to joining the Twins organization. I don’t want to say anything or pull anybody the wrong way, but I look forward to being a Twin.”
The fact that Stewart was still pondering a move to college football the day of the draft and the fact that he still isn’t 100 percent sure still makes me nervous long-term with Stewart’s future, but his father’s comments in the Chronicle have begun to ease my nerves.
Stewart’s father stated that, “He’s going to go (with the Twins). You don’t get drafted fourth and not go. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime offer. He looked at me when they made the call and said, ‘Dad, I’m going to accept the (Twins’) offer.’ He’s made the decision, and he will talk to (Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin).”
If Stewart were to experience some issues and struggles over his first few years as a baseball player, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go back to football. Players like Brandon Weeden have tried this path before and Stewart certainly wouldn’t be the first to change his mind after trying baseball. His inability to commit may signal that he is still having second thoughts about the whole process; but at the end of the day, Stewart still is young and making a big decision like this is going to be tough on him which is reflected in his indecision.
I fully expect Stewart to sign with the Twins and give baseball a try for a few years; but let it be on record that if Stewart were to struggle, don’t be surprised if he decides to head back to football. For the mean time Twins’ fans, cross your fingers and hope for the best with Stewart because if things work out, he could be a very dominant pitcher at the majors.