Throughout the minor league season, the prospect staff here at Fake Teams will look at a number of prospects for your fantasy and dynasty teams. Some will be prospects that you'll see this year in the majors, while others are interesting targets in longer term formats. Up today is a prospect who is quietly moving along nicely, Kohl Stewart of the Minnesota Twins.
Weight: 195 lbs.
On 40-Man Roster: No
Protect After: 2017 Season
DOB: 10/7/1994 (Age 19 Season)
The Twins drafted Stewart out of St. Pius X high school in Houston with the 4th overall pick in 2013, and had been widely viewed as the top prep pitcher available in the draft. While there were rumblings of concern that he might not sign due to a football commitment to play quarterback at Texas A&M, the Twins gave Stewart nearly $4.5 million dollars to keep that from happening.
After signing, the Twins sent him to their GCL affiliate, where he threw a total of 16 innings across six appearances, striking out 16 and walking just 3. He was promoted to their other short-season affiliate in Elizabethton, where he threw four shutout innings and struck out 8 in his lone start. He was sent to the Twins' full season Low-A affiliate to start this year, where through Monday he has thrown 34.2 innings, struck out 26, walked 10, and allowed just 23 hits.
The Scouting Report
Stewart features four pitches, a fastball, changeup, as well as both a slider and curveball. His fastball is considered a plus offering, sitting in the mid-90s with the potential to dial up to 95-96 at times. The pitch has good movement, and he is able to command it well. His changeup is a work-in-progress at the moment, but there are reports that it has flashed as at least an average pitch. Stewart features two breaking balls, a slider which is considered plus to potentially plus-plus and is a definite strikeout offering, and a curveball which has the potential to be an average pitch at the major league level as well. To date, he has been getting a high rate of grounders (1.33 GO/AO this year), which should help him out when combined with his strikeout potential. His delivery is very smooth and fluid, and appears to be easily repeatable. Stewart is also considered extremely athletic, which should serve him well as he continues to move up toward the majors.
When Could He Arrive in the Majors?
I wrote during the offseason that I believed Stewart would not be in the majors until some time during the 2017 season, and I think that's still the most likely timeline. We could see him for a brief call up in 2016, but I wouldn't bet on anything sooner than that.
What Can He Do for Your Fantasy Team?
Stewart has the potential to be a top 25 fantasy starting pitcher down the line, capable of providing strikeouts at a consistently high rate to go along with excellent ratios.
Stewart isn't getting the same helium as one of the other top prep arms from his draft class (Hunter Harvey), but he shouldn't be overlooked either. I wouldn't necessarily look at the slightly low strikeout rates this year so far, as we will want to see how he does as the season continues and the temperatures in Cedar Rapids get higher. He has the potential to be a stalwart at the top of a fantasy rotation if everything clicks, and is a very interesting name if you are looking at a long rebuild in your dynasty league.
The Baseball Cube