Os select Stewart
BALTIMORE — The Orioles selected Florida State outfielder DJ Stewart with their first-round pick (25th overall) in the 2015 Draft on Monday.
Stewart is listed at 6-foot, 230 pounds, and he was named the ACC Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2014. Known for an unusual low crouch at the plate, he has excellent bat speed and pitch recognition as a left-handed power hitter. Projected to be a left fielder, Stewart’s selection helps fill the void for an Orioles farm system short on top positional players.
“Stewart is an accomplished college hitter whose power should play well in our park at Camden Yards,” scouting director Gary Rajsich said. “We are excited to have him.”
“There have been a number of outstanding young men to come through our program, but none better than DJ Stewart in the way that he displayed leadership both on and off the field,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “A two-time Academic All-American with a 3.35 GPA in his last semester at Florida State, knowing that he had a good chance to be a first round pick is a clear indication of his leadership and commitment to Florida State baseball.”
Stewart batted .318 with 15 home runs, 59 RBIs, a .500 on-base percentage and 69 walks — which led the nation — as a junior this past season.
There are those who believe Stewart has one of the best bats in the 2015 college class though there is concern over his unorthodox stance. He has plus raw power but struggle to realize his potential because he bats from an extreme crouch and has a flat swing.
“Stewart is one of the best hitters in college baseball, but there are questions regarding how much power is he going to unlock as a big leaguer,” MLB.com’s Jim Callis said. “He hits from a deep crouch, which compromises his pop.”
The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
Stewart’s selection is one of three for the Orioles on Monday, as Baltimore also has picks 36, high school shortstop Ryan Mountcastle and 68.