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Thread: Kohl Stewart: 6.8 K/9?

  1. #21
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    I don't like the idea of dropping or de-emphasizing a good pitch for any significant amount of time. Pitchers always say how important 'feel' is, and it seems like throwing a pitch is important in terms of maintaining and developing it.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
    He's mixing in occasional breaking balls. Call it a curve, a slider or a slurve, whatever. He changes speeds on it. He's not throwing it a lot, focusing mostly on fastball and change up command.
    Given the outbreak of arm injuries among young hot prospects around the league, this sounds like the proper course of action.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Given the outbreak of arm injuries among young hot prospects around the league, this sounds like the proper course of action.

    If he has a plus slider, this will force him to develop the other pitches. Throw just enough of them not to lose it, save the arm for when it counts.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tibs View Post
    This is missing the point though. He reportedly isn't using his slider which is a very good pitch and it's easy to think his numbers would be better if he was using it.
    I understand that. But the above posters were suggesting that kind of experimentation or "holding back" was a regular practice in the minors. If so, then it should be visible somewhere in the data -- i.e. there should be example(s) of a highly touted pitcher posting low K numbers in the low minors before going on to success (and presumably higher K numbers) later.

    Other posters have suggested this is a new/unique approach just for Stewart. Which explains the numbers, but being a "test case" isn't exactly reassuring! Also, seems kind of odd that a pitcher simply wouldn't be allowed to throw an allegedly very good pitch -- I could see limited use, yes, but you can't just not throw it and expect to develop as a professional.

    That said, his K rate isn't super-low, it's a small sample, he's young, and he's getting good results otherwise. Definitely not writing him off, but I will also be a little more wary of penciling him into any future MLB rotations for the time being.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    I understand that. But the above posters were suggesting that kind of experimentation or "holding back" was a regular practice in the minors. If so, then it should be visible somewhere in the data -- i.e. there should be example(s) of a highly touted pitcher posting low K numbers in the low minors before going on to success (and presumably higher K numbers) later.

    Other posters have suggested this is a new/unique approach just for Stewart. Which explains the numbers, but being a "test case" isn't exactly reassuring! Also, seems kind of odd that a pitcher simply wouldn't be allowed to throw an allegedly very good pitch -- I could see limited use, yes, but you can't just not throw it and expect to develop as a professional.

    That said, his K rate isn't super-low, it's a small sample, he's young, and he's getting good results otherwise. Definitely not writing him off, but I will also be a little more wary of penciling him into any future MLB rotations for the time being.
    It's also important to add in Stewart's profile that baseball was only a little more than a hobby to him growing up. If there is still a noticeable K% discrepancy by the second half of next year, I think this type of concern will be more warranted.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    If he has a plus slider, this will force him to develop the other pitches. Throw just enough of them not to lose it, save the arm for when it counts.


    Yes, spot on. It's been reported that Stewart's pure stuff is at a much higher level than the bats he's facing in the Midwest League. As far as I have read going back to before last year's draft, the slider is a real out pitch for Stewart, so it's probably safe to assume that it's a plus pitch. Perhaps the faithful in the community who are fully aware of his repertoire can confirm which of his pitches are plus or plus-plus?

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    It's also important to add in Stewart's profile that baseball was only a little more than a hobby to him growing up. If there is still a noticeable K% discrepancy by the second half of next year, I think this type of concern will be more warranted.
    I expected a slow start for Stewart with improvement as he moves forward. So a ERA under 2.50 with very few hits and 7 k per 9 is encouraging. He will get better as he plays more baseball.

    Berrios, while not 5th overall pick had a 3.99 ERA with about 9 K per 9 last year in this league. Eades, although a second round pick has an ERA of 5.66 in the same league and he is 3 years older.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    I understand that. But the above posters were suggesting that kind of experimentation or "holding back" was a regular practice in the minors. If so, then it should be visible somewhere in the data -- i.e. there should be example(s) of a highly touted pitcher posting low K numbers in the low minors before going on to success (and presumably higher K numbers) later.

    Other posters have suggested this is a new/unique approach just for Stewart. Which explains the numbers, but being a "test case" isn't exactly reassuring! Also, seems kind of odd that a pitcher simply wouldn't be allowed to throw an allegedly very good pitch -- I could see limited use, yes, but you can't just not throw it and expect to develop as a professional.

    That said, his K rate isn't super-low, it's a small sample, he's young, and he's getting good results otherwise. Definitely not writing him off, but I will also be a little more wary of penciling him into any future MLB rotations for the time being.
    You make a good statistical point, but although I'm sure that almost all minor league pitchers are experimenting to a certain extent, I think very few of them are positioned well enough to hold back a pitch almost completely. How many minor league pitchers have a slider (or any pitch) so well-developed it simply isn't needed while the pitcher can work on other things? I'm guessing there are about as few pitchers are in this situation as there are pitchers with Stewart's potential and pedigree.

  9. #29
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    The whole pitch selection thing reminds me of other stuff we've heard over the years, that turned out to not really be the correct explanation. Hitters at the Midwest League level are generally not good at all... Slowey tore them apart with fastball command alone, other guys just overpower them with velocity, etc. You don't need to be a complete pitcher to dominate at that level.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Triple-A DocBauer's Avatar
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    Also not worried at this point. Remember, he really didnt pitch many innings last season. And despite his young age, he's performing well and trending upward.

    I seriously doubt that in games and bullpens he is simply ordered to NEVER throw a slider. That would simply be ridiculous. I think more likely he is simply restricted in how many to throw in order to continue work on other pitches.

    I just wish we could have someone actually explain the process here instead of conjecture and rumor.

  11. #31
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    His slider has grades from 65 to 70, so yes, plus to plus-plus.

    BP:
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...rticleid=22959
    MLB: (go to prospect #32)
    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2014/
    Grading on the Curve:
    http://gradingonthecurve.com/2013/01...tewart-rhp-tx/
    Keith Law in TD archive:
    http://twinsdaily.com/archive/index.php/t-7679.html
    MLBtraderumors (2nd article):
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/kohl-stewart


    And I've read reports that he's been limited on the use of the slider or 'slurve' he has to focus on spot command of the FB/Changeup.

    The guy had 2 bad starts where his control was off...otherwise his ERA would be under 1.70 as a 19 year old (2.9 years younger than his competition) is pretty darn solid, not sure if anyone saw it. But compare him to a 4 year college starter and #1 overall draft pick of the same MLB draft (Mark Appel) and he looks like the better pick despite having 4 years less development time.

    Check it out:

    Hope that helps put 19 year old Kohl Stewart in perspective.

  12. #32
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    So does this mean that Kohl Stewart is being fast tracked to the big leagues faster since his K's are down and he must be pitching to more contact like the Twins like with their staff. ETA 2015.

  13. #33
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    Kohl is also getting used to throwing lots more innings than he's used to. So its understandable if the Twins would want to be a little cautious with the use of his slider this season. I'm sure he is still on an innings limit this year.

  14. #34
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    His low K rate is worth noting but not worth being overly concerned about. I wish I would have gotten to see Kohl last week but I saw Eades instead.

    IIRC in Taillon's 2nd year they took away his breaking ball and his K rate dropped to about where Stewart's is right now and he started K'ing hitters again. The other thing to note is that Stewart had an awful K rate in his first 3 games and it's been mostly better since then and I wouldn't be surprised to see it climb a little as the season goes on. I wouldn't be shocked if it was in the the 8-9 k/9 range for the rest of the season. And aside from one game Stewart has done well with BB's.

    My optimism about Stewart is down perhaps 10% but it's early enough that could easily change.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    As far as I have read going back to before last year's draft, the slider is a real out pitch for Stewart, so it's probably safe to assume that it's a plus pitch. Perhaps the faithful in the community who are fully aware of his repertoire can confirm which of his pitches are plus or plus-plus?
    Pretty sure Baseball America rated Stewart's slider as the best in the organization this year and every grade I've seen has it as at least "plus."

    No idea if this is actually something they might take into account on how to use him now, but as a diabetic myself, I know those with the disease are more likely to develop issues with things like the shoulder. Since he has not thrown as much as your typical highly drafted pitcher, this may be a way of easing him into full season ball and strengthening his arm, while also limiting the chances of injury due to throwing a breaking ball so early in his career. I wouldn't read much into his stat line right now, which quite frankly, I find to be fantastic. Especially if he's not throwing that slider to put away batters.
    Scouting Report: Tools - Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)
    Spring Training Regular since 2011.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lein View Post
    Pretty sure Baseball America rated Stewart's slider as the best in the organization this year and every grade I've seen has it as at least "plus."

    No idea if this is actually something they might take into account on how to use him now, but as a diabetic myself, I know those with the disease are more likely to develop issues with things like the shoulder. Since he has not thrown as much as your typical highly drafted pitcher, this may be a way of easing him into full season ball and strengthening his arm, while also limiting the chances of injury due to throwing a breaking ball so early in his career. I wouldn't read much into his stat line right now, which quite frankly, I find to be fantastic. Especially if he's not throwing that slider to put away batters.
    Baseball Prospectus rated his slider as one of best in minors. It is a major league pitch right now.

  17. #37
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    I was lucky enough to catch one of Stewart's starts last year before he got drafted and was very impressed. I just don't understand putting so much value in under fifty minor league innings. Heck, I don't understand putting value in any minor league stats. The point of the minor leagues is to develop. As long as Stewart's stuff is still there and he is progressing as a pitcher I'm happy.

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  19. #38
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    What if, instead of this track, they had him trying to dominate, and he did, and they called him up next year, because, as ESPN pointed out recently, arm injuries happen, and teams want their pitchers up sooner, rather than later.....It's not like this system has produced a lot of pitching talent, and their processes should be completely trusted.
    Lighten up Francis....

  20. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    What if, instead of this track, they had him trying to dominate, and he did, and they called him up next year, because, as ESPN pointed out recently, arm injuries happen, and teams want their pitchers up sooner, rather than later.....It's not like this system has produced a lot of pitching talent, and their processes should be completely trusted.
    Additionally what happens if he dominates the minors with a devastating slider and an okay fastball. Garza did this to an extent with his fastball and it took years for teams to get him to offspeed stuff effectively.

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  22. #40
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    Baseball is about adapting. I almost guarantee the twins sat down and created a plan for Stewart. Developmentally and health-wise. I like this approach a lot. Who cares if he strikes out a few less batters for a season (or a few months... We don't know). If this approach works... I bet you anything teams around the league start doing it too. I wouldn't be surprised if it is already a talking point.

    Pretty surprised by the negative reactions to this.

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