Following the Twins selection of RHP Kohl Stewart, he called in and talked with the media for a while. It was interesting to hear him talk about the draft. For so long, we have heard that he had this strong commitment to Texas A&M where he had a full scholarship to play both football and baseball. Listening to his responses tells me there is no question that, not only will he sign, but he could sign quickly.
How did Stewart find out he was drafted? His parents had 75-100 friends and family at their home, a big rain storm came down and temporarily knocked out their satellite. He had to scramble and found that he had been drafted by the Twins on his cell phone.
Below are some quotes from the 18-year-old prep from Texas:
Regarding whether or not heíll sign with the Twins:
Honestly, the Twins picked me, and they expect me to sign. Iím not going to say for sure, but I am looking forward to joining the Twins organization.
Why I think that Stewart could sign relatively quickly:
Iíll definitely be in touch with Couch (Kevin) Sumlin in the next couple of days or whatever it ends up being. I donít want to say anything, pull anybody any way, but I look forward to being a Twin.
(Side Note Ė Texas A&A football coach Kevin Sumlin was a wide receivers coach and a quarterbacks coach at the University of Minnesota in the mid-90s.)
His thoughts on the Twins organization and potentially being a part of it:
I think that there is extreme loyalty within that organization. I think that theyíre committed to winning. Theyíre looking for ways for the organization to reach the World Series. Iím committed to being part of that organization and work my way up, grind it out until my name is called. And hopefully, one day I hope I can help the Minnesota Twins become one of the winningest organizations in the league.
Was he surprised to be drafted by the Twins?
I definitely thought that the Twins were the best bet for me. A lot of the communication went through my advisers They obviously relayed that information to me. I definitely believe that this is where I was headed. Iím extremely excited about it, and surely blessed to have this opportunity to be a part of their organization and help them win.
His thoughts on playing football and now potentially just playing baseball (also, the comment that makes me most excited about how good Stewart could be):
I donít ever bore. Thereís always something for me to be working. Football has always taken rank over baseball, especially in high school with it being so demanding and such a big deal here in Texas. I look forward to being able to just sit down and work on baseball for once. Iíve never been able to do that. I really didnít start pitching at the level I have been pitching at until high school and then football came again and took away from that. So Iím really looking forward to being able to really focus on one thing and focus on that for a long period of time. I canít wait to see how the Twins can help me and see how much I can grow.
What pitches he throws and what heís working on (and the information that makes me possibly even more excited about how good Stewart could be)?
(I) throw a fastball. This year I threw a slider, a curveball and a changeup. My fastball? There are days where youíre not going to have that pitch, but my fastball is a very comfortable pitch for me. I like to use both sides of the plate and work off my fastball. My slider is probably my second best pitch, with my curveball and changeup. Iím really comfortable throwing any pitch at any count. There are a lot of things I need to develop. I need to work on throwing my slider inside to righties. Sometimes I let it get away, throw it too hard and it will go away to righties.
My slider is more effective right now, just because I started throwing my curveball just this year. My changeup has definitely come around. Iíve thrown that a lot more in the last year. And, I even have a little bit of a sinker just to give me something else to go hard in in righties. The sinker has kind of come to fruition, just in the last couple of weeks, just throwing bullpens and messing around with some things.
Iím kind of always open to different things and working on different pitches. Always having those different kinds of things to always fall back upon if something else isnít working.
It was exciting to hear from a young man who is clearly very excited to be drafted high by the Twins, and a guy who has confidence, stuff and charisma. Heís got plenty of developing to do, but he has the potential to be the 2013 pick that has the biggest impact.