Embed from Getty Images When the Detroit Tigers opened their 2020 spring training, Tigers outfielder Christin Stewart struggled. That may be a bit of an understatement. Stewart struggled to the tune of four hits in 30 plate appearances. When COVID-19 chutdown spring training, Detroit Tigers hitting coach Joe Vavra pulled Stewart aside.
Vavra, saw some mechanical adjustments that could help Christin Stewart’s hitting. Stewart headed back to his home in Nashville Tennessee and worked on making the adjustments with the thought it would pay off.
Christin Stewart hit 98 home runs in five minor league seasons. Last season was Stewart’s first in Detroit. In Stewart’s first full season with the Tigers 104 games he hit 10 in 416 plate appearances with 103 strikeouts.
The lack of plate production, coupled with Stewart’s deficiencies defensively namely range and arm strength, suddenly Christin Stewart was no sure thing to make the Detroit Tigers roster coming out of spring training and beyond.
Stewart got to work. Not only did he work on making adjustments at the plate, but the young outfielder also worked on better footwork in the outfield and really worked hard at getting throws to the cutoff man.
The Detroit Tigers front office and coaching staff know that Stewart can mash the ball. If Stewart can find consistency he could be a very valuable piece for the Tigers as Stewart is left handed power guy. So if he has worked the kinks out Stewart could become a valuable part in Detroit’s offense both now and in the future.
Thursday the Tigers played an inetersquad game. A new and improved Christin Stewart stepped to the plate, he would deliver three hits in the game. In what was a sight for sore eyes, Stewart had worked extremely hard on his fitness. In the time off he committed to a regimen of agility drills and plyometrics, Stewart is now leaner and more flexible than he was last season.
In talking with the media Christin Stewart had this to say,
“I know I belong,” he said. “I know my abilities. I know my strengths and I know what I can do. At the end of the day, all you can control is your actions and effort. I’m just giving it everything I got. I just have a hunger every time I am out there to do the best I can.
Embed from Getty Images There is no other plan for Detroit Tigers outfielder Christin Stewart. Miguel Cabrera under contract for the next four seasons, it seems highly likely that designated hitter will be occupied for the foreseeable future buy the long time Tigers first baseman. in 2020, Christin Stewart must hit like the Tigers believe he can.
Christin Stewart hit very well in minor leagues. Heading into last season the Tigers felt Stewart’s defense would be his biggest drawback, never dreaming it would be his hitting.
Christin Stewart had a completely forgettable rookie season with the Detroit Tigers, which really fit in with the theme of 2019 Tigers team. At 26 years old, Stewart is young and has a track record of hitting in the minors. 2020 will be a big year for Stewart as well at the Tigers who need more bats in the farm system.
In 2019, Stewart had 416 plate appearances that was only worth 80 wRC+, and his OBP and SLG plummeted to .305 and .388. Though Christin had occasional flashes of power he hit 10 home runs his .154 ISO was not nearly the routine .200+ ISO he posted in every full season in the minors. In other words his numbers were bad.
Chrstin Stewart needs the 2020 season to be his breakout year. The Tigers minor leagues are not overflowing with other options at the moment. Stewart needs to prove he is capable of being part of the Detroit Tigers build-up part of the rebuild, now that the team finished it’s tear-down part of the rebuild.
It is just one thing the Detroit Tigers coach’s, front office and fans will be watching this season.
Embed from Getty Images Prospects can be tricky. The right ones can propel a team forward or set them back. Yesterday, in the Opening Day of the 2019 MLB season. The rebuilding Detroit Tigers and rookie Christin Stewart took the stage in Toronto to face the Blue Jays.
“Early on I just kind of let my adrenaline and emotions get the best of me,” Christin Stewart said. “I just needed to calm down in the box. I knew that. Later in the game my at-bats started getting better, I started to do what I wanted to do in the box.
For rookies playing in their first Opening Day, that is easier said than done. Most rookies want to show they belong. So many rookies try to do too much and fall flat. Some regain their composure, while some are sent to the minors to make adjustments. Teams really do not know until they see regular season games.
Stewart was already 0-3 when he arrived at the plate in the 10th inning. “They were kind of messing with him,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He’s a kid. But you make a mistake like that one, that one got too much of the plate, and he killed it. We know that’s what he can do.”
Toronto Blue Jays right-handed pitcher Daniel Hudson quickly got ahead in the count 0-2, Christin knowing he had to make contact chocked up on his bat. The relief pitcher then made a fatal mistake, he left the ball out over the plate on a change-up and Stewart connected. Miguel Cabrera, staring his way and mouthing, “Wow.”
For the rebuilding Detroit Tigers are in line to lose 90-plus games once again, the Tigers will be a thorn in many teams side this season. It is good news that a player like Stewart who will not hit close to .300 started with a home run. He does project as a 30-35 home run, 80-90 R.B.I. player. Something the Tigers will taken