D.J. Stewart | OF
The Yankees selected the 21-year-old Stewart out of a Florida high school in the 28th round of the 2012 draft, though he opted not to sign and instead followed through on his commitment to Florida State. Stewart hit .358/.469/.558 with 12 home runs, 78 walks, and 70 strikeouts in 113 games his freshman and sophomore years, and this spring he’s put up a .322/.509/.580 batting line with 13 homers, 69 walks, and 45 strikeouts in 62 games.
Stewart is a big left-handed masher and he looks the part at 6-foot-0 and 230 lbs, though he is a decent athlete for his size. His offensive game is built on getting on base via his level swing and outstanding strike zone knowledge. Stewart works the count exceptionally well and consistently gets himself into hitter’s counts. His swing is geared more for hard contact than power — he hits from an extreme crouch and doesn’t get the ball airborne as much as you’d expect. Whatever team drafts him will surely try to straighten him up a bit and add a little uppercut to his swing to tap into his raw strength and power. Defensively, Stewart has good instincts and range despite a lack of speed, though his arm is weak and relegates him to left field. If he gets any bigger and slows down any more, he’ll probably have to move to first base.
Baseball America, MLB.com, and Keith Law (subs. req’d) ranked Stewart as the 30th, 36th, and 70th best prospect in the 2015 draft class in their most recent rankings, respectively. Stewart’s performance has been off the charts — he also raked against top college pitching with wood bats in the Cape Cod League — and the Yankees drafted him once before, so they liked something about him once upon a time. He’s going to go a lot higher than the 28th round this time though. The Yankees pick 16th and 30th this year and Stewart figures to be available for the second of those two picks.