Kohl Stewart was slated to start for Triple-A Rochester on Friday night, but now it looks like he might get the chance to start for the Minnesota Twins on Sunday in Detroit.
According to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Stewart has gotten the call to the big leagues — the first of his career.
#mntwins are calling up former first-round pick Kohl Stewart, I'm told. Was scratched from tonight's start for ROC.
— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) August 10, 2018
The Twins have not yet confirmed the move.
Stewart was eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft this past offseason after the Twins did not protect him on the 40-man roster, but now he’ll be added and will likely get a significant look down the stretch.
— Justin Murphy (@CitizenMurphy) August 10, 2018
The Twins selected Stewart fourth overall in the 2013 draft — two picks behind Kris Bryant going to the Chicago Cubs — and managed to get him out of his commitment to being the possible successor at quarterback for Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M with a $4.5 million signing bonus.
Stewart peaked as high as No. 28 on Baseball Prospectus’ top prospects list in 2015, and was in the top 100 for MLB.com and Baseball America as well. He has not really been on the prospect radar much in recent years, however, as he has posted ERA marks over 4.00 in each of the last two seasons with Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Rochester.
Thus far this year, Stewart has posted a 3.98 ERA in 40.2 innings with a 1.40 WHIP with the Red Wings since he was promoted from Chattanooga in late June.
After a couple of rough starts with the Red Wings, his last five have been considerably sharper: 2.37 ERA, 19-9 K/BB ratio and .652 OPS against. Stewart’s raw stuff has not translated to strikeouts as many hoped when he was selected, but he still gets plenty of grounders — including a 58 percent mark over his last five outings.
Around 45 percent is the league-average rate in the big leagues.
MLB.com presently lists Stewart as the team’s No. 28 prospect, with a 60-grade fastball, a 55 slider and everything else 45 or lower.
On the positive side, Stewart was doing a good job striking batters out in Chattanooga before his promotion this season (9.4 K/9), though it came with a WHIP of 1.54 and an ERA of 4.76.
There’s still immense talent here, and this is a good chance to get a look at him before another key offseason decision has to be made.
Stewart turns 24 on Oct. 7.
BONUS: Here’s some video of 11-year-old Kohl, honing his craft!
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