Twins draft high school pitcher from Houston with the fourth overall pick in the draft

Kohl Stewart, who has a baseball and football scholarship to Texas A&M, was the first high school player drafted.

hide

Prep baseball star Kohl Stewart, seen here at the Perfect Game All-American Classic, Petco Park, San Diego, California.

Photo: Damen L. Jackson, Dml - Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

Kohl Stewart estimated that 75 to 100 friends and family members were packed into his family’s home in Tomball, Texas, on Thursday night to see where he would be selected in the Major League Baseball draft.

Thank heavens for the smartphone age.

“The weather got real bad here and the satellite went out,” Stewart said in a teleconference. “Some people called the draft up on their phones, and when we heard my name, we all cheered.”

 

Stewart, a righthanded pitcher who also was a star quarterback at St. Pius X High School in Houston, had a good hunch where he was going. The Twins have been to all his games over the past two years, so he had a strong feeling that they would select him with the fourth overall pick.

The confirmation came around 6:20 p.m. The Twins believe he has the tools to become a front-line starter.

“I definitely believed that this is where I was headed,” he said.

The Twins also went for pitching with their second-round pick, selecting LSU righthander Ryan Eades.

 

Stanford righthander Mark Appel went with the first overall pick to his hometown team, the Houston Astros. The Chicago Cubs then selected University of San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant, and the Colorado Rockies took University of Oklahoma righthander Jonathan Gray, making the Twins’ selection a simple one.

“He was the best prospect on the board,” Twins scouting director Deron Johnson said. “He just happened to be a high school righthander.”

Stewart, 18, made eight starts for St. Pius X this season, going 5-1 with a 0.18 ERA. In 40 innings, he struck out 59 and walked 16. In 2012, he was 8-0 with 72 strikeouts in 54 innings.

“I think his ceiling is unlimited,” Johnson said. “I think he’s got the makeup and physical attributes to be a front-line starter.

“I’m not going to say he’s a No. 1 starter. I don’t think that anyone can predict that, but I do think that — not to put any undue pressure on the kid — but he has the ability, the athleticism to be just as good as the guys who were picked ahead of him.”

There were reports earlier on Thursday that talks had bogged down, but the Twins made the selection confident that they can agree on a signing bonus. Major League Baseball’s assigned value to the fourth overall pick is $4,544,400. Stewart can be signed for above or below that number. The Twins have a bonus pool of $8,264,400 to sign their picks or risk paying a penalty.

Stewart, listed at 6 feet 3 inches and 208 pounds, has a fastball that’s been clocked at 92-94 miles per hour, and he’s thrown his slider as hard as 89 mph. He just started throwing a curveball last winter but has had success with it. And he has a good changeup.

What’s intriguing about him is how much better he can get. He has a scholarship to play baseball and football at Texas A&M, where another QB, Johnny Manziel, is king. Being in a football-crazed state, Stewart spent plenty of time honing his football skills, and he feels that made his arm strong for baseball.

Now he will be immersed in baseball, and the Twins are excited about his potential.

“I look forward to being able to sit down and focus on baseball,” he said. “I look forward to being able to focus on one thing.”

But first, Stewart has to call Aggies football coach Kevin Sumlin and tell him he’s not coming.

“I don’t want to say anything and pull anybody in the wrong way,” Stewart said, “but I look forward to being a Minnesota Twin.’’

Eades is 8-1 with a 2.81 ERA this season for LSU. His fastball ranges from 90-95 mph, and he also has a hard breaking ball.

Baseball America had him listed as the 37th-best prospect in the draft.





 

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Chicago WSox «0013010005110
Minnesota000000020231
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:H.Noesi(5-7) L:P.Hughes(10-7) S:J.Petricka (5)
HR: CWS- None MIN- D.Santana (3)

ADVERTISEMENT

Boston - LP: R. De La Rosa 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 8
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 2
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 4
Houston - LP: S. Feldman 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Samardzija 13
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 3 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: C. Kimbrel 2
San Diego 13 Bottom 9th Inning
Chicago Cubs 3
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: M. Garza 9
Chicago WSox - WP: H. Noesi 5 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: P. Hughes 2
Cleveland 1 Bottom 11th Inning
Kansas City 1
Detroit 1 Bottom 5th Inning
LA Angels 0
Baltimore 4 Bottom 5th Inning
Seattle 0
Montreal 1 2nd Half
Real Salt Lake 2
Calgary 23 12:12
Edmonton 20
Winnipeg 7/25/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 7/26/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 7/26/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Winnipeg 7/31/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
New York 66 4th Qtr 7:16
Seattle 65
Phoenix 61 3rd Qtr
Los Angeles 36
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What's your outlook for the Twins' second half?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close