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Article: TD Top Prospects: #4 Kohl Stewart

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 06:52 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...-4-Kohl-Stewart

#2 jokin

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:07 AM

Up to 6 years to begin (to only possibly) getting dividends on a high-end first round pick?

For an athlete of this level?

The fact that he wasn't a baseball-first guy was sold as a good thing.

Something seems askew here with this transaction- definitely not the type of high-end pick in the Twins standard MO. I don't remember any discussion of this "crudeness" in his form leading up to, and right after, draft day- this whole deal now sounds a lot more speculative than last June. And a comp with Trevor May? By Trevor's own admission, he isn't the greatest athlete.

Again, a truly great athlete like Stewart should respond more quickly to a training regimen than 6 years to refine and master his motion and strengthen his arm, especially if he already has 4 pitches in his repertiore to varying degrees of success and effectiveness. Let the grumbling begin.....and apparently, start looking for yet another high-upside arm next June

Edited by jokin, 11 February 2014 - 08:24 AM.


#3 howieramone1406390264

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:18 AM

Jim Callis in his Wednesday draft chat a month before the draft, said Stewart would be up by 2015. Who knows?

#4 jokin

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:20 AM

Jim Callis in his Wednesday draft chat a month before the draft, said Stewart would be up by 2015. Who knows?


At this point, I'd settle for splitting the difference, but thanks for something more positive to dwell on.

#5 tobi0040

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:33 AM

Jim Callis in his Wednesday draft chat a month before the draft, said Stewart would be up by 2015. Who knows?


That is definitely tough to predict. I think the Twins will be cautious, given that he has basically never focused solely on baseball.

Either way, I think this was a good pick by the Twins, your system can't ever have enough high-end starting pitching prospects and this is where I would rate him as far as our prospects go. If we add another this draft and only one turns out to be an ace, I will take it over low end position players who will be more immediate gratification.

#6 nicksaviking

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:34 AM

I'd guess Law wouldn't normally even rank a player in the top 100 if he truely thought they would take six years to make it. I suspect that his extended timeline prediction was at least in part due to his perception that the Twins are ultra-conservative with their players. In other words, would Law still be predicting six years if Stewart had been drafted by the Mets? Probably not.

#7 tobi0040

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:37 AM

I'd guess Law wouldn't normally even rank a player in the top 100 if he truely thought they would take six years to make it. I suspect that his extended timeline prediction was at least in part due to his perception that the Twins are ultra-conservative with their players. In other words, would Law still be predicting six years if Stewart had been drafted by the Mets? Probably not.


That is a good point. He would be up in 3 and guess who would criticize that? Keith Law.

#8 pierre75275

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:45 AM

It would be exciting to see him and Kolek going back to back in a few years wouldn't it?

#9 jokin

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:48 AM

I'd guess Law wouldn't normally even rank a player in the top 100 if he truely thought they would take six years to make it. I suspect that his extended timeline prediction was at least in part due to his perception that the Twins are ultra-conservative with their players. In other words, would Law still be predicting six years if Stewart had been drafted by the Mets? Probably not.


That is a good point. He would be up in 3 and guess who would criticize that? Keith Law.


Excellent points, both.

You could also look at it from another developmental perspective, the Rays drafted James Shields in the 16th round and it took 6 years for him to debut, which seems about right. Does anyone think they would have to tinker with a higher upside arm like Stewart for anywhere near that long?

Edited by jokin, 11 February 2014 - 08:55 AM.


#10 Jim Crikket

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:00 AM

I can't get too worked up over ETA projections for 18 year olds who haven't played a year of full-season baseball, yet.

Go back a year ago. How many people were projecting Byron Buxton to be knocking on the MLB door by 2014? He obviously had potential, as the #2 pick in the draft, but there were questions due to his age and relatively little experience facing tough pitching in his rural HS. He had off the chart "tools" but we hadn't seen him use those tools for a full season. Now we have.

This is a similarly telling season for Stewart. A year from now, we'll have a much better idea whether he's going to be a "one step at a time" prospect or whether his ascension will be more Kershaw-like.

#11 Seth Stohs

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:01 AM

I think that Stewart being a full-time baseball guy is very good news, but with any high school pick, there are risks, especially pitchers. Consider, he was shut down for the final two weeks of the season last year and didn't pitch in Instructs either due to the sore shoulder.

Would there be any negative in him spending the spring in EST and then either getting two months in Cedar Rapids or Elizabethton, just to ease into the full time baseball thing? People worry too much about ETA. The key is to make him the best he can be and figuring out the best way for him to do that.

I suspect he'll start in EST and move up to Cedar Rapids in May or so. He'll have to be on an innings limit. CR will likely have a 6-man rotation.

But, when it comes to upside and talent, he's in the elite category. His upside is tremendous, but I personally think caution is a good thing. I still think he starts 2015 in Ft. Myers at 20 and could be up by 22. That's pretty young, pretty impressive. I think 2016 is somewhat realistic, and yet still very aggressive.

#12 jokin

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:07 AM

I think that Stewart being a full-time baseball guy is very good news, but with any high school pick, there are risks, especially pitchers. Consider, he was shut down for the final two weeks of the season last year and didn't pitch in Instructs either due to the sore shoulder.

Would there be any negative in him spending the spring in EST and then either getting two months in Cedar Rapids or Elizabethton, just to ease into the full time baseball thing? People worry too much about ETA. The key is to make him the best he can be and figuring out the best way for him to do that.

I suspect he'll start in EST and move up to Cedar Rapids in May or so. He'll have to be on an innings limit. CR will likely have a 6-man rotation.

But, when it comes to upside and talent, he's in the elite category. His upside is tremendous, but I personally think caution is a good thing. I still think he starts 2015 in Ft. Myers at 20 and could be up by 22. That's pretty young, pretty impressive. I think 2016 is somewhat realistic, and yet still very aggressive.


Caution is one thing. What John was alluding to was quite another thing, as he was making Keith Law sound like somehow the Twins getting Stewart to the majors "before this decade is out" is akin to the enormous gamble that this country and John Kennedy took in attempting a landing on the Moon.

I do prefer the prospect of a 2016 debut.... so I can come down from the ceiling now?

Edited by jokin, 11 February 2014 - 09:11 AM.


#13 Seth Stohs

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:12 AM

As Jim Crikket pointed out so eloquently... we don't have any idea at this point what he can become. let's see how he does in his first full season as a pro. I respect Law, but no one knows for sure, myself include. It's fun to read all kinds of opinions and we'll just see what happens.

#14 tobi0040

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:20 AM

As Jim Crikket pointed out so eloquently... we don't have any idea at this point what he can become. let's see how he does in his first full season as a pro. I respect Law, but no one knows for sure, myself include. It's fun to read all kinds of opinions and we'll just see what happens.


We also can't put too much stock in his rookie league numbers. Berrios had a 1.17 ERA and 49 K in 30 IP in rookie league. Then had a 3.99 ERA with basically a K per inning in low A. His K to BB went from 12.5 to 2.5. Certainly ripping up rookie league is better than not, but he was not the first pitcher to come back to reality in A ball.

#15 jokin

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:20 AM

As Jim Crikket pointed out so eloquently...

we don't have any idea at this point what he can become.

let's see how he does in his first full season as a pro. I respect Law, but no one knows for sure, myself include. It's fun to read all kinds of opinions and we'll just see what happens.



I would quibble a bit with this conclusion. We do have an idea of what he can become.....or the Twins wouldn't have taken a shot at him with such a lofty pick...... at this point, what we don't know is if he will become that potential Ace/#2 arm. I can live with that and with what we know about his background/makeup and still fairly anticipate a shorter development process than 6 years. Certainly, our expectations for a quicker return on investment with Stewart are reasonable, compared to say, another high upside arm like Louis Thorpe, with whom we can be far more comfortably patient over a longer time frame.

#16 markos

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:23 AM

Regarding the [COLOR=#3E3E3E]“a good five years away from the majors.” quote from Law, there is this little tidbit from Baseball America back in October:

[/COLOR][COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]Closest To The Majors[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]High School Players[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]1. Kohl Stewart, rhp, Twins (1)[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]2. Tyler Danish, rhp, White Sox (2)[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]3. Hunter Harvey, rhp, Orioles (1)[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]4. Austin Meadows, of, Pirates (1)[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]5. Clint Frazier, of, Indians (1)

http://www.baseballa...-draft-classes/

I think the take home message here is that no one knows how quickly Stewart is going to progress. [/FONT][/COLOR]

#17 Seth Stohs

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 10:15 AM

I would quibble a bit with this conclusion. We do have an idea of what he can become.....or the Twins wouldn't have taken a shot at him with such a lofty pick...... at this point, what we don't know is if he will become that potential Ace/#2 arm. I can live with that and with what we know about his background/makeup and still fairly anticipate a shorter development process than 6 years. Certainly, our expectations for a quicker return on investment with Stewart are reasonable, compared to say, another high upside arm like Louis Thorpe, with whom we can be far more comfortably patient over a longer time frame.



Fair enough.

#18 twinsfan34

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:56 AM

If Stewart is a top prospect, I've ran some queries for high school pitchers and it would seem if he's going to be a 4+ WAR a year type of pitcher, he'll be up in 3.7 years or less. If he's going to be below 4 WAR it'll take longer than the 3.7 years. If he takes more than 6 years, he'll be lucky to put up 8 career WAR and would most likely be a reliever/spot starter. The 6 years also factors in lost time to injury (left it in as it often affects pitching performance). 3.7 years is May 2017 for those of your keeping track at home.

#19 tobi0040

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 12:06 PM

Very interesting. Maybe adjust a little for the fact that he has never been a full time pitcher, but good work.

#20 cmb0252

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 01:32 PM

Regarding the [COLOR=#3E3E3E]“a good five years away from the majors.” quote from Law, there is this little tidbit from Baseball America back in October:

[/COLOR][COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]Closest To The Majors[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]High School Players[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]1. Kohl Stewart, rhp, Twins (1)[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]2. Tyler Danish, rhp, White Sox (2)[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]3. Hunter Harvey, rhp, Orioles (1)[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]4. Austin Meadows, of, Pirates (1)[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]5. Clint Frazier, of, Indians (1)

http://www.baseballa...-draft-classes/

I think the take home message here is that no one knows how quickly Stewart is going to progress. [/FONT][/COLOR]


Not only BA but Law's ESPN draft covering partner Christopher Crawford said the same thing. I find it odd that Law suggested it would take that long.

#21 cmb0252

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 01:33 PM

Regarding the [COLOR=#3E3E3E]“a good five years away from the majors.” quote from Law, there is this little tidbit from Baseball America back in October:

[/COLOR][COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]Closest To The Majors[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]High School Players[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]1. Kohl Stewart, rhp, Twins (1)[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]2. Tyler Danish, rhp, White Sox (2)[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]3. Hunter Harvey, rhp, Orioles (1)[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]4. Austin Meadows, of, Pirates (1)[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]5. Clint Frazier, of, Indians (1)

http://www.baseballa...-draft-classes/

I think the take home message here is that no one knows how quickly Stewart is going to progress. [/FONT][/COLOR]


Not only BA but Law's ESPN draft covering partner Christopher Crawford said the same thing. I find it odd that Law suggested it would take that long.

#22 spycake

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 01:52 PM

[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Helvetica Neue]I think the take home message here is that no one knows how quickly Stewart is going to progress. [/FONT][/COLOR]

Agreed. And I tend to think his #1 ranking on that list is mostly due to him being the highest pick of the bunch (although I understand the other guys are shuffled a bit).

#23 spycake

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 01:59 PM

He struck out 24 guys (both as a reliever and as a starter) and walked only four in 20 innings.

Also, rookie league "starts" vs relief outings don't mean too much. His starts were 2, 3, and 4 innings in length.

Basically, I am encouraged by the fact that it wasn't discouraging, but it was too small a sample and too low a level to tell anything, really. Remember Shooter Hunt? College pitcher, ~3 years older, but he pitched great in rookie league ball too...

#24 spycake

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:09 PM

Don’t let it be said that the Twins are not willing to gamble when the opportunity presents itself.


John, it was the draft. The "opportunity" was we were 4th on the board and he was the consensus 4th pick, and we "gambled" roughly the same amount on Stewart that we committed to pay Jamey Carroll for one season (a rebuilding season, no less).

MLB draft picks are rarely risks or gambles, particularly now with a hard slotting system. Just tests of how discerning are your scouting eyes, really.

#25 mike wants wins

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:21 PM

Wait, he has more upside than Gray (or even Appel)? Look, I loved the pick, and think he is this highly ranked, but calling him the highest upside arm in the draft seems a bit off.....

As for ETA, I hope he's on the fast train.....arms tend to break down. The guys that don't are the exception. Do what the Marlins did, if he's this elite.

#26 Jim Crikket

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:23 PM

John, it was the draft. The "opportunity" was we were 4th on the board and he was the consensus 4th pick, and we "gambled" roughly the same amount on Stewart that we committed to pay Jamey Carroll for one season (a rebuilding season, no less).

MLB draft picks are rarely risks or gambles, particularly now with a hard slotting system. Just tests of how discerning are your scouting eyes, really.


I'm not sure I totally agree. It's not really about "gambling" the money because, as you said, the amount of money pales compared to what MLB players of even moderate ability get. But the risk is more "opportunity risk."

If you rely as much as the Twins do on organizational development, you can't afford to miss on a high 1st round pick when you get one. High velocity high school pitchers aren't always the safest picks. You don't want to go overboard on praising the Twins for the pick that so many people felt was clearly the right choice at #4, but it is a moderate gamble, imo.
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#27 spycake

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:45 PM

I'm not sure I totally agree. It's not really about "gambling" the money because, as you said, the amount of money pales compared to what MLB players of even moderate ability get. But the risk is more "opportunity risk."


True. But as you allude to, it was kind of an obvious, consensus move. Only for the Twins would drafting the young high ceiling guy for slot money, while in the early stages of a rebuilding process, be called a "gamble". I call it "not doing something stupid".

I feel like the same view creeps into MLB transactions too, so TR gets credit for being aggressive when he... pays market rates to add modest pitchers to a historically bad starting staff. I was glad to see the "record" FA contracts too but it was the minimum that he had to do, really. Drafting Stewart (and Buxton) were kind of the same thing.

Still, very excited to have Stewart in the organization!

#28 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 03:38 PM

With Stewart, there really wasn't a lot better out there. Sickles liked Frazier a bit better, but yeah, I just don't see this as a gamble. He was the best guy left, and could potentially end up being the best guy in this draft... who knows. Given his age, there was more risk there, but if they wanted less risk, they needed to lose more games.

#29 cmb0252

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 04:09 PM

As a person who follows the draft very closely I can tell you most kids coming out of HS are considered throwers over pitchers. Heck, some college guys are the same. Add in the fact Stewart focused mostly on football growing up and already has two plus pitches and two average pitches.....how many big leaguers have 4 average or above average pitches, much less, 18 year olds? There is alot to get excited about here. As I say this I have been leading the Stewart bandwagon since seeing him in person last year.

#30 Thrylos

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 05:39 PM

If Stewart is a top prospect, I've ran some queries for high school pitchers and it would seem if he's going to be a 4+ WAR a year type of pitcher, he'll be up in 3.7 years or less. If he's going to be below 4 WAR it'll take longer than the 3.7 years. If he takes more than 6 years, he'll be lucky to put up 8 career WAR and would most likely be a reliever/spot starter. The 6 years also factors in lost time to injury (left it in as it often affects pitching performance). 3.7 years is May 2017 for those of your keeping track at home.


^^^^ This.

If Stewart is not up until 2018-9, he should not be ranked as the 4th best prospect in this system.

I think that 2016 is more realistic.
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