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College | Story | 5/1/2019

JUCO Notebook: May 1

Vincent Cervino         Britt Smith         Ben Milks        
Photo: Carter Stewart (Perfect Game)

Contributing: J.A. Cordts

Junior College Top 25: April 30 | Top 300 JUCO Prospects

Players covered: Carter Stewart (Eastern Florida State), Peyton Miller (Tyler JC), Levi Usher (Kirkwood), Orlando Ortiz Mayr (Kansas City KS CC), Junior Martina (Western Oklahoma State), Dan Pruitt (Western Oklahoma State), Allan Berrios (Western Oklahoma State), Jhonny Felix (Western Oklahoma State), Cacy Harper (Northern Oklahoma College), Ben MacNaughton (Northern Oklahoma College), Joey Pena (Northern Oklahoma College).

Carter Stewart, Eastern Florida State
Eastern Florida State College righthander Carter Stewart was a top 10 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft as a prep righthander out of Florida and Stewart has done nothing to dispel the notion that he’s worthy of a first-round selection for this year’s draft. A PG All-American during the summer of 2017, Stewart has all the makings of a starting pitcher at the next level highlighted by his deadly two plus pitch fastball-curveball combination and he was very impressive during this look, striking out eight hitters over six innings while allowing only one run.

Stewart allowed a home run in the first inning when the velocity was a bit lower than usual and from there he hit cruise control. He’s a well-built 6-foot-6 athlete with a bit of a longer delivery, and though the arm action is still longer in the back it appears to be more online through the back and easier to maintain.

Stewart threw a good amount of strikes in this look and the fastball worked primarily in the 91-95 mph range throughout the performance. He’s able to generate plane from a higher arm slot while also showing some hard arm-side life when he was locating the pitch to the arm side. Stewart’s bread-and-butter pitch for the better part of his high school career was his curveball, and though the pitch still has the look, shape, and plus components of a signature hammer, he also unveiled his slider a good amount during this game. 

The slider worked in the 81-84 mph range, and while it was pretty inconsistent, it flashed above average at times and it isn’t hard to see it being a future baseline average pitch for him at the next level. The break was shorter than the curveball with more horizontal action, and in the late innings showed it often. The curveball is still a great pitch, showing plus for a good portion of the outing and really functioning as one of the premier swing-and-miss pitches in this year’s draft class.

The curveball has lost a little shine as it’s not been the hard-breaking, potential double-plus offering that it was last spring but Stewart still posits a clear three-pitch mix, potentially four with a changeup that he didn’t show during this look. There are also desirable starter traits and Stewart should be the second junior college player selected this year and that should come no later than late in the first round.

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