The highlights of the trade that sent J.T. Realmuto to Philadelphia are obviously RHP Sixto Sanchez and C Jorge Alfaro, but LHP Will Stewart could ultimately prove valuable as well. While he’s going to fall outside our updated Top 10 list (which will be released over the weekend), there is reason for optimism. Pitching 113.2 IP at Single-A in 2018 he showed all of the skills we look for from a pitcher:
- Strikeouts – 7.13 K/9 (courtesy of a 12.0% SwStr%)
- Control – 1.66 BB/9
- Groundballs – 62.1%
There’s obviously more upside in his strikeout rate, and the control and groundball stuff would make him elite. After the trade Baseball America gave the following scouting report, only adding to the intrigue:
Once scouts started seeing him, however, they were quickly interested in his combination of a low-90s fastball, changeup and slider. The changeup is his go-to pitch, and he adds and subtracts its velocity depending on if he needs a called strike or a chase pitch. He’s also shown willingness to be aggressive with the pitch, throwing it as many times as needed and to both righthanded and lefthanded hitters. His slider, which ranks as below-average but is the newest pitch in his arsenal, could be average with continued reps. He’s adept at reading hitters’ swings and quickly learning how he can use his stuff to exploit their weaknesses.
The 21-year old showed an ability to have success against both right-handed and left-handed hitters:
- vs. RHH – .235 BAA
- vs. LHH – .208 BAA
Obviously there’s still time, but thus far it’s an intriguing skillset that could emerge as valuable before long. While he’s outside the Top 10 for now, a strong start will lead to his grade rising into the B-/B range in short order.
Current Grade – C+
Sources – Fangraphs, Baseball America, MILB.com
Make sure to check out all of our 2019 Top 10 Prospect Lists: