Embed from Getty Images On a steamy spring training day, Detroit Tigers rookie outfielder Christian Stewart steps up to bat. Atlanta Braves left handed pitcher Sean Newcome on the mound. This encouraged the Detroit Tigers coaches and front office. Stewart a left hander himself was facing a left handed pitcher.
This was a big knock on Stewart coming out of college. He was good against right handed pitchers. In fact Christian was almost deadly against righties. His big struggle was left handed on left handed.
Yet, here he was. Having mastered hitting lefties last season while in Toledo with the Mud Hens. Newcome fired a 94 mph fastball towards home plate. Smack! Christian Stewart lined it in the gap for a two out, two R.B.I. double.
The great Ted Williams once said “you only get one pitch to hit in an at-bat, don’t take it, don’t miss it, don’t foul it off.” Christian Stewart, has adopted the Hall of Famers philosophy.
The best part of Christian Stewart’s development is that He can bat second in the lineup or fifth. When asked Stewart said he does not care where his name is on the lineup card. That he is going to do his job.
In a 17 game callup last September, Stewart amassed 72 at bats, hitting .267 with 2 home runs. This spring Christian is hitting .320 with 2 home runs.
Stewart looks more relaxed this spring. Detroit is handing the masher the leftfield job. While defense is well below average, hitting is well above average. Stewart projects as a mid 30’s home run hitter. Once Detroit develops their minor league outfielders and the rebuild is over Stewart will most likely be moved to D.H.
Make no mistake Christian Stewart, is part of the Detroit Tigers long range plans. He will be a middle of the order bat. He is a home run and R.B.I. machine.
This will be his first full season in Detroit. Stewart is ready. It is one more step in the rebuild. Detroit Tigers fans should get ready for some moon-shots. While in Toledo, Christian hit a ball out of the park. As in out in the parking lot. This spring he hit the light tower at Joker Merchant Stadium.
Christian Stewart is reason Tigers fans should tune in. The guy is good for something special every game.
Embed from Getty Images Detroit Tigers outfielder Christian Stewart got a September call up. He has simply put, been on fire.
Two homer runs. In the same game. In the same place in the ballpark. Christian Stewart is living up to his billing. Stewart has “Stupid power,” according to teammate Jeimer Candelario. Christian had big crowds around him during pregame batting practice. His own teammates, Detroit media, as well as players from the opposing team and their media.
Christian Stewart is a key part of the Tigers rebuild. He still has issues in the field and does not run all that well. But a player with the hitting tools Stewart has at his disposal will always have a roster spot.
In his Detroit “cup of coffee” (fancy, yet odd way of saying getting a look for next season.) Stewart has 43 at bats, 5 runs, 10 hits, 2 home runs, 7 rbi and 6 walks. Hitting .233.
Christian Stewart is not going to hit for average. That is not his job and the Detroit Tigers did not draft him to hit .300. Stewart will come close to 40 home runs and 80+ rbi’s. That is the reason the Tigers drafted him.
His most likely destined spot in the Detroit batting order is fourth or fifth. That is where power and rib’s are needed. Stewart has shown he can handle it. He still needs to learn to lay off the high stuff. He does chase balls out of the strike zone at times.
But when he is locked in he can do some serious damage. As I alluded to before. Christian Stewart is a big part of the Detroit Tigers rebuild. Even if my gut feeling is correct and he is just a designated hitter (D.H.) The spark he can provide is enough to warrant hype.
While not my absolute favorite player in the Detroit Tigers pipeline. I do like Christian Stewart a lot. He will be a HUGE asset when the Tigers come out of their rebuild and begin to play relative baseball in the near future.
He is one of many reasons to continue to follow the young Tigers through the process of getting better. I fully expect Stewart to break camp with the Tigers next season. With Tigers D.H. Victor Martinez retiring Stewart could slide into that role seamlessly.
Embed from Getty Images When the Washington Nationals, signed Detroit Tigers free agent pitcher Max Scherzer, in 2015 it gave the Tigers a compensation draft pick. They used that draft pick on University of Tennessee’s Christian Stewart.
He can hit. That is not a problem. He is in baseball terms “a thumper.” Stewart, has plus raw power. He can hit the snot out of the ball. Not only for power but for average.
He will remind Detroit fans of Adam Dunn. Only unlike Dunn, Stewart has a good batting average. If Christian Stewart hits 30+ home runs and knocks in 80+ R.B.I.’s Tigers fans will be pleased.
There is a hold up though. For all he can do with a bat in his hands. He is woeful in the outfield. He is well below average in arm, glove and speed. At 6′ 0″ Stewart is too short to be considered for first base.
That leaves the Detroit Tigers using a draft pick to get a designated hitter (D.H.) I don’t want to whine or complain. They team drafted a very good hitter. Although he is one dimensional. His bat will be welcomed in the Detroit Tigers, rebuild.
The team may be forced to using Stewart, in the field when the team plays National League teams.
That said Christian Stewart, is a prospect I like. A lot. He will be a good fit in Comerica Park. Playing this season in Toledo with the Mud Hens. Christian, should get a September call up when the rosters are expanded.