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View Full Version : Stewart may not be long for Dayton (article from Trent's blog)



OnBaseMachine
06-25-2008, 07:00 PM
Stewart may not be long for Dayton
Wednesday, June 25, 2008, 02:54 PM ES

DAYTON -- Zach Stewart was initially told he'd be sent to Billings for rookie ball after he signed quickly following the Reds drafting him in the third round out of Texas Tech.

After a couple of outings at a minicamp in Sarasota, the Reds instead sent him to low Class A Dayton in the Midwest League.

Following just his second outing for the Dragons, manager Donnie Scott didn't expect to have Stewart as part of his bullpen for an extended period of time.

"He's got great stuff, bottom line," Scott said following Stewartís two perfect innings in Tuesday night's loss to South Bend. "He pitches down in the zone, he's got great sink on his fastball. His slider, he can throw it for strikes, he knows how to utilize it when he's ahead in the count. This guy, he keeps throwing pitches like that, he's going to be knocking on Cincinnati's door real quick."

Tuesday, Stewart struck out two batters and only one of the outs he recorded was hit to the outfield, as he threw his fastball consistently at 95 miles per hour.

In his first outing, last weekend against the Clinton Lumberkings (Rangers), Stewart hit 96 on the gun, the tops for any Dayton pitcher this season. He also worked two perfect innings in that appearance.

As impressive as his velocity is, Scott said it's Stewart's slider that sets him apart.

"He's got Major League stuff," Scott said. "If he throws strikes with all his pitches as he seems he's gonna, he could be on the fast track."

Scott has retired all 12 professional batters he's faced so far.

Last year's top pick, catcher Devin Mesoraco has caught Stewart in the bullpen and had only one word to describe him -- "filthy."

Stewart was rated as the No. 46 prospect in the draft by Baseball America coming out of Texas Tech. Stewart was a reliever for the Red Raiders until the last three weekend series of the season when the team's Friday starter went out with an arm injury and Stewart was put into the rotation.

He finished 3-2 with a 4.98 ERA, but that wasn't helped much by his first start. On April 25 he was moved into the rotation and after two scoreless innings to start the game, Stewart allowed nine runs (all earned) in his final 2/3 of an inning.

In his next start, Stewart fared much better, giving up just one earned run in 6.1 innings against No. 8 Oklahoma State in a Texas Tech victory. He was the loser in his final start, May 16 against Baylor, but went eight innings and allowed just four hits and three runs (all earned) while striking out seven Bears.

Now with the Reds, Stewart is happy to be back relieving.

"I like relieving better. It's a lot less mental preparation for me," Stewart said. "You've got to be prepared, but you donít have all day to think about it. I'm not much of a thinking guy, I react."

In addition to his two-seam fastball and slider, Stewart said he throws a changeup, but he used it more as a starter than as a reliever, he said.

"If I go multiple innings, I try to mix in the changeup just to throw people off," Stewart said.

Because of his college experience, Stewart came in a little more polished than some guys straight from high school, but Scott said it's a different level than the typical college pitcher.

"Not like this, it was pretty sharp what he was showing the other night," Scott said before Tuesday's game. "He touched 96 and showed an extremely sharp slider, one of the better ones I've seen in this league."

Because of his workload in college, he isn't throwing back-to-back nights at Dayton and won't be throwing more than two innings at a time.

"He's basically being introduced to pro ball, we're going to be careful with how we're going to treat him," Scott said. "He didnít throw a lot, 47 innings, but that's a golden arm and we don't want to abuse it in low-A ball."

http://www.thelotd.com/ctrent/blog

corkedbat
06-25-2008, 07:33 PM
I'm not sure if Stewart sees Sarasota this year or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's in Chattanooga by this time next year.

lollipopcurve
06-25-2008, 08:10 PM
very good to hear this -- sounds like another nice pick from Buckley

GoReds33
06-25-2008, 09:32 PM
I hope he keeps this up. If he can keep pitching like this, he'll be in Louisville this time next year.

paulrichjr
06-26-2008, 12:32 AM
very good to hear this -- sounds like another nice pick from Buckley

Does Buckley make it after this season? I think he should. Does Walt?

Reds Fanatic
06-26-2008, 09:19 AM
I have seen him pitch twice for the Dragons and have been very impressed. He consistently hits 95 to 96 MPH with movement and good control.

Blitz Dorsey
06-26-2008, 12:28 PM
If he stays healthy, he could be with the Reds at this time next year. College relievers taken in the first few rounds that throw hard are usually pretty close to being ready. He won't need much seasoning IMO. The rest of this year and the start of next year should do it. If the Reds need an extra power arm out of the pen midseason next year (Roenicke will already be up) they can call Stewart up. Of course, he is very young in his pro career and he still has a lot of provin' to do before he's ready to do what I'm suggesting. But I think he'll get there by this time next year if he stays healthy. I think that's the only thing that could knock him off track.

GoReds33
06-26-2008, 05:06 PM
If he stays healthy, he could be with the Reds at this time next year. College relievers taken in the first few rounds that throw hard are usually pretty close to being ready. He won't need much seasoning IMO. The rest of this year and the start of next year should do it. If the Reds need an extra power arm out of the pen midseason next year (Roenicke will already be up) they can call Stewart up. Of course, he is very young in his pro career and he still has a lot of provin' to do before he's ready to do what I'm suggesting. But I think he'll get there by this time next year if he stays healthy. I think that's the only thing that could knock him off track.I agree with what you say. I just think that with the luxury of having guys like Cordero, Roenike, Burton, Bray, ect. we don't have to rush him. So many of these guys are rushed, and never meet their full potential.

Mario-Rijo
06-26-2008, 09:52 PM
I think ideally you would like him to see if he can develop a 3rd pitch preferably a change up or maybe even a splitter. Kid has closer mentality so if he has 3 good pitches to go with that makeup ya got something special.