HOF CLASS OF '12
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Springfield, Ohio
Re: 2008 Reds Draft Info
3rd Round #84 Overall
Stewart, Zachary Texas Tech U RHP R/R 6'02" 205 1986-09-28 JR #25
ERA W-L APP GS SV IP H R ER BB SO 2B 3B HR AB B/Avg WP HBP BK
4.98 3-2 20 3 3 47.0 48 28 26 21 43 15 0 5 179 .268 4 1 0
Fastball: Stewart showed plus, plus velocity, throwing his fastball in the 95-97 mph range.
Fastball movement: It had plus life as well.
Slider: He showed a slider that was average-to-plus and threw it with good deception.
Control: He had plus command, particularly of his fastball.
Poise: He has a closer mentality, very aggressive and going right after hitters.
Physical Description: Stewart isn't all that big, but he's strong-bodied and his stuff plays big as does his bulldog mentality.
Medical Update: Healthy.
Strengths: Two plus power pitches and command of both of them. He has the right demeanor to be a closer.
Weaknesses: Having played at three colleges in three years, there's no real track record.
Summary: College closers have become all the rage lately, with some getting drafted early every year. Stewart could be in that group in 2008. The Texas Tech reliever relies on a plus fastball and slider and commands both power offerings well. He's got the kind of makeup you want in a short reliever, a guy who is very aggressive and goes right after hitters. The stuff plus the mentality could push Stewart into early-round consideration.
SCOUTING REPORT (3/1): After a year at Division II Angelo State (Texas) and another at North Central Texas JC, where he went 8-3, 2.29 as a starter in 2007, Stewart has taken over as the closer at Texas Tech this spring. It’s a role he’s cut out to perform as he has an aggressive demeanor and doesn’t give in to hitters. He was Texas Tech’s best arm filling that role in the early going. He displays good sinking action on an 89-93 mph fastball that tails away from lefthanded hitters and bores in or righthanders. The pitch produces a steady stream of ground-ball outs. He also gets slurve-like action on a 75-77 mph slider and gets occasional sink on his changeup, normally a 74-76 mph offering. He has no mechanical faults, but needs work on refining his slider and change.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Stewart’s unsightly 4.98 ERA (to go with a 3-2 record and three saves) was blown up during his first start of the season (of three total) on April 25 when he allowed a nine-run inning to Oklahoma. He was auditioned as a starter late in the season, in part to give scouts an extended look as he got few opportunities to work in a closer role on a struggling Texas Tech team. Stewart is clearly a reliever and his ability in that role cast him into the first two rounds of the draft. He was steadily 92-95 mph all spring with outstanding sinking life on his fastball.—DAVID RAWNSLEY
TT Red Raiders site:
Prior to Texas Tech
Played one season at Angelo State University before transferring to North Central Texas College in 2006...First-Team All-Conference and Second-Team All-Region selection last season at North Central Texas College
A 2005 graduate of Holliday High School in Holliday, Texas...lettered in baseball, basketball, football, track and tennis...coached in baseball by Terry Wolf...helped lead his team to the state tournament all four years of high school and was state finalists three of those years...was an All-State selection his junior and senior seasons.
Born on Sept. 28, 1986 in Wichita Falls, Texas to parents Ken and Robin Stewart...has one younger brother, Ty...enjoys fishing and hunting...majoring in psychology.
An interesting read:
Stewart gives Tech strength in its bullpen
By George Watson | AVALANCHE-JOURNAL
Friday, March 14, 2008
Story last updated at 3/14/2008 - 2:17 am
It wasn't hard to look at last year's Texas Tech baseball team and find one glaring weakness that played a direct role in its miserable season.
Tech's inability to close out games on the mound may have made more of a direct impact on the Red Raiders sitting home for the Big 12 Tournament with a last-place finish than any other problem area in 2007. That's why when fall workouts started, the Tech coaching staff had already pegged junior transfer Zach Stewart as the designated closer.
He's done nothing to diminish his coaches confidence in his ability in that role. He has helped stabilize the back end of the Red Raider bullpen heading into today's Big 12 Conference opener at Texas A&M.
"I'm getting to where I feel more comfortable," said Stewart, who earned the team's only two saves of the year in back-to-back outings against Northern Illinois and New Mexico. "The last three games I've struggled a little bit and got the ball up some, but I was able to battle through it and had some good outings. Now I'm getting more used to it."
And the Red Raiders (8-6) are getting more used to the ability of going to Stewart earlier than normal when turning to a closer.
In earning those two saves, he was extended heavily, pitching 21/3 innings both times with just one day of rest between them. He allowed a couple of hits but struck out four among the nine batters he faced against Northern Illinois, then Tuesday at New Mexico worked out of two bases-loaded jams. He allowed three walks and three hits, but more importantly, no runs to the Lobos.
"He's done very well," Tech coach Larry Hays said. "But baseball has a way of checking to see if you've got everything, and we're going down (to A&M) and we like what he's done, but he's got to continue to pitch well. That's what's fun about baseball is it's what you do today that counts. We've got the ingredients there where if we stay healthy to be stable in a situation like that."
Tech was in plenty of those situations last year but faltered. Five times during Big 12 Conference play the Red Raiders led in the seventh inning or later only to give up the lead and lose. Had Tech had an effective closer, it could have meant the difference between an 8-18 finish and a 13-13 mark and one of the top five seeds in the Big 12 Tournament. That would have put the Red Raiders in contention for an NCAA playoff berth instead of ending the season in last place.
That may be why the Tech coaching staff was so quick to identify Stewart as the most likely closer candidate, and why new pitching coach Dan Spencer has placed so much emphasis on a solid bullpen.
Neither Stewart nor Hays was concerned about the wear on Stewart's arm with two lengthy outings in such close proximity. Stewart credited his days as a starter at North Central Texas College the past two years with his ability to handle large workloads on his arm. Stewart has had one other two-inning outing this year, but his fastball was also clocked in the mid- to high-90s during the Minute Maid Classic in Houston two weeks ago.
The consecutive long-relief outings came after he had made just five appearances and thrown six innings in those appearances. The only run he's allowed all season was a meaningless home run in the ninth against Central Arkansas last week, giving Stewart the team lead in ERA at 0.84.
"It was hard because I wasn't getting as many innings as I did last year and I was having more trouble keeping my arm in shape than I usually have," Stewart said. "As far as the save situations I didn't have a real good grasp of how that would be. There's a lot less room for error, it seems like. Usually (a closer) is coming in starting with nobody on but most of the time I'm starting with two or three guys on. It's a lot less innings but a lot tougher situations."
This weekend, however, may see Stewart in the more traditional closer role if the Red Raiders have a chance late in the game, meaning a late eight-inning or ninth-inning appearance to finish a game off instead of the lengthy relief outings he's had the last two times.
"It doesn't always work out that way but we want to have him available," Hays said. "Just because you have (a closer) you're not necessarily going to get to use it, and he's got to be ready when we have those opportunities. When you hit them you want to take advantage of them."
Last edited by Mario-Rijo; 06-07-2008 at 03:22 AM.