The Orioles have some intriguing outfield prospects. What do fans have to look forward to?
Cedric Mullins, DJ Stewart, Yusniel Diaz, and Austin Hays are the headliners of this crop of Baltimore Orioles outfield prospects who are adding, or will add, some much-needed excitement inside Camden Yards. (At the writing of this article, there are no rumors of Victor Victor Mesa to the Orioles yet.) A guy like Ryan McKenna could push his way up the list, but at the moment, he’s not there yet. There are plenty more Orioles prospects deserving of a closer look, but let’s start with the big names.
A September call-up for the O’s, DJ Stewart has played seven games, totaling 21 PA. In those 21 PA, he’s taken two walks, struck out three times, and collected three hits: a single, a double, and a home run. The “single” he hit was actually a “Little League Home Run”. Jon Meoli described it on Twitter: “DJ Stewart breaks his duck with a 2-2 single to right field, then alertly takes second on a bad relay throw to the infield, then alertly takes third on errant throw from left field and is granted home when ball goes into photo well. His first hit was Little League Home Run.”
✅ First career MLB hit
✅ Go all the way around
✅ Water bottle showers at the dugout by @JRvillar6
Plate Discipline Skills
Stewart has shown a consistent ability to do a few things, like hit home runs, steal bases, and showcase plate discipline that few Orioles’ hitters have been able to exhibit over the last few seasons. Throughout his minor league career, he showed great plate discipline skills.
His strikeout rate wasn’t particularly impressive, but he showed a double-digit walk rate in each level of the minors apart from low A, where he played 62 games after being drafted. In his minor league career, he’s tallied a walk rate of 12.2% and a strikeout rate of 19.2%.
Take a look at his plate discipline stats in the majors. Keep in mind that none of this data has stabilized yet. We are not drawing any conclusions from this. But so far, he has shown an ability to limit swing and misses, and limit swinging at bad pitches. If he keeps up this good plate discipline, it will go a long way towards continuing his future in the major leagues.
A Need for (average) Speed.
|Level (GP)||A- (62)||A (62)||A+ (59)||AA (126)||AAA (116)|
Additionally, DJ Stewart is a base-stealing threat. In the minors, he attempted to steal 13.4% of the time he got on base or two out of every 15 times. In 79 attempts, he stole 61 bases, good for a 77.2% success rate.
Stewart stole his first base in the major leagues already. His sprint speed is 27.3 feet/second. This is just above the average in MLB, 27 feet/second. If he maintains his current sprint speed, that would rank as 19th among LF’s with 100 or more opportunities this season. You may not assume he’s such a speedy outfielder at first glance, however, Stewart is full of sneaky speed that plays very well in the outfield.
He was dominating AA last year, with a .278/.378/.481 line. Stewart was also one of just 10 minor league baseball players to record a 20/20 season in 2017. But this year, he recorded has a line of .235/.329/.387 in AAA. It should be noted that Harbor Park, where Stewart played half of his games this year, is a pitcher’s park. At AAA, his production turned out a 101 WRC+, meaning he produced 1% more runs than the average batter in AAA. A call-up was warranted, but if he wants to stick around, he’ll have to show the power he flashed towards the end of 2016 and through 2017.
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