Return to Baseball Leftovers

Ian Stewart - the next Utley or strictly a utility guy?

Moderator: Baseball Moderators

Re: Ian Stewart - the next Utley or strictly a utility guy?

Postby BillyHallDisciple » Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:11 pm

Here's a nice little article from 3/27 on Stewart from the Rockie's MLB home page:

http://colorado.rockies.mlb.com/news/ar ... p&c_id=col

PEORIA, Ariz. -- One of the Rockies' most vexing issues is how to work Ian Stewart's power bat into the lineup. It might make for tough decisions for the club, but it's delightful for Stewart.

Stewart is a third baseman who is playing regularly these days because the everyday guy at the position, Garrett Atkins, has been dealing with hip flexor and groin injuries. The Rockies are also looking at Stewart in left field and second base, two other spots where the Rockies have people.

It might be tough, but the Rockies understand that they chose Stewart in the first round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft for a reason -- his power potential. No one realizes such potential from the bench.

"It gives me a lot of confidence, just knowing that they want my bat in the lineup, wherever I play," Stewart said. "I was just talking to Huston Street about how good our team can be.

"We've got a lot of really good hitters on this team. It's exciting coming here knowing, whether you're in the lineup or not, the guys that are going to be playing know that we're going to be scoring some runs, and we're going to be crushing the ball."

Stewart carried a .293 batting average into Friday afternoon's game against the Mariners. Mariners starter Erik Bedard caught him looking at a third-strike breaking pitch with the bases loaded in the first inning. But Stewart launched a Brandon Morrow pitch over the right-field wall for a two-run shot, his third homer of the spring, in the fifth inning.

Stewart, who turns 24 on the eve of the April 6 season-opener against the D-backs, has hit .293 with 101 home runs in 601 Minor League games. This should be his first opportunity to have a complete season in the Majors.

Last season, Stewart appeared in 81 games in two callups with the big club, and managed to finish in the top 10 among National League rookies in eight categories, including third in slugging percentage (.459).

He hit .218 during his first stint, went to the Minors to correct some swing issues and hit .270 the next time. The big issue with Stewart was strikeouts, 94 in 286 at-bats last season. That included 28 in his first 55 at-bats.

At the end of last season, the Rockies told Stewart he needed to trim his strikeouts and hit better with two strikes to become a productive Major Leaguer. This spring, new hitting coach Don Baylor gave Stewart some specific pointers.

Last summer, when manager Clint Hurdle and the Rockies coaches were working with the NL All-Star team, then-hitting coach Alan Cockrell (who was in the other dugout with the Mariners on Friday) talked to Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols about drills that could help Stewart. The two All-Star sluggers suggested hitting off a tee, and it helped.

Stewart also adopted into a spread stance that imitated Pujols. The idea, Stewart said was to shorten his stride. Pujols comes as close as anyone to picking up his front foot and putting it in the same place. It works for the Cardinals first baseman, but it led to problems for Stewart.

"He [Baylor] noticed that in my stance before, I was spread out, crouched down low, and sometimes it caused me to come up on my toes when I was starting to swing or swinging." Stewart said. "He took my feet, moved them closer together, so I'm a little taller in the box. I stayed down through the ball."

The other adjustment was quieting some of the circular bat movement Stewart has when taking his stance.

"When he was lower, and the bat was going around a lot, I didn't think he knew where the bat head was when he tried to swing," Baylor said. "That was probably why he swung at a lot of bad pitches.

"Now, he's had the opportunity to take some walks, put some balls in play, and there are a lot more tough at-bats that he's having. He's having a good spring, a real good spring. His ability is he's got great hands, and for a young kid, he's really strong."

Stewart missed 10 days of Spring Training with a left biceps strain, but he has seen consistent playing time since returning. Going into Friday, he had appeared in 66 innings at third base and 35 innings in left, where he reports feeling comfortable. On Friday, he started in left and moved to third in the sixth inning. In recent days, he has taken ground balls at second, where he played when the Rockies called him up last year.

"They have the confidence in me," Stewart said. "They know I can play second and do fine, or play in the outfield and do fine. I just hope they want to get me in the lineup, somehow."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
BillyHallDisciple
General Manager
General Manager


Posts: 2850
Joined: 1 Aug 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Ian Stewart - the next Utley or strictly a utility guy?

Postby Halo Homers » Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:20 pm

I think the above article really nails it with Stewart. I think he'll get 500 AB this year as a super utility type guy who plays multiple positions.

I could see a line like .290-75-22-85 as realistic this year.
Halo Homers
Major League Manager
Major League Manager

User avatar

Posts: 1297
(Past Year: -24)
Joined: 22 Oct 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Ian Stewart - the next Utley or strictly a utility guy?

Postby Frances The Mute » Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:59 pm

I'd rather have Clint Barmes.
Frances The Mute
Minor League Mentor
Minor League Mentor

User avatar

Posts: 383
(Past Year: -1)
Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: SAN FRANCISCO

Re: Ian Stewart - the next Utley or strictly a utility guy?

Postby CubsFan7724 » Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:20 pm

Halo Homers wrote:I think the above article really nails it with Stewart. I think he'll get 500 AB this year as a super utility type guy who plays multiple positions.

I could see a line like .290-75-22-85 as realistic this year.

That would make him like a top 5 2nd baseman.
CubsFan7724
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Pick 3 Weekly Winner
Posts: 6410
(Past Year: -16)
Joined: 19 Mar 2004
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: AKA 34=Sweetness on FFC

Re: Ian Stewart - the next Utley or strictly a utility guy?

Postby BillyHallDisciple » Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:43 pm

Spring Training stats so far: .300 BA, 4 HR, 13 RBI. Of his 15 hits, 10 are for extra-bases (includes 2 triples as well). I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'...
BillyHallDisciple
General Manager
General Manager


Posts: 2850
Joined: 1 Aug 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Ian Stewart - the next Utley or strictly a utility guy?

Postby Mortician » Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:31 am

Is the Rockies Infield set for opening day yet. Lot's of interesting options depending on who's going to be getting the playing time
Mortician
Minor League Mentor
Minor League Mentor

User avatar

Posts: 359
(Past Year: 3)
Joined: 8 Jun 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: The Morgue

Re: Ian Stewart - the next Utley or strictly a utility guy?

Postby BillyHallDisciple » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:12 pm

Looks like Helton, Barmes, Atkins & Tulo. Looks like my guy Stewart will be back-up infielder at 2B/3B and play some OF... hope he can get semi-regular at-bats, 'cause it doesn't look like he's considered a bona fide starter at this point anyways... damn, I was hoping he'd land a regular gig right out of Spring Training.

http://colorado.rockies.mlb.com/news/ar ... p&c_id=col
BillyHallDisciple
General Manager
General Manager


Posts: 2850
Joined: 1 Aug 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Ian Stewart - the next Utley or strictly a utility guy?

Postby DaShiz23 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:16 pm

BillyHallDisciple wrote:Spring Training stats so far: .300 BA, 4 HR, 13 RBI. Of his 15 hits, 10 are for extra-bases (includes 2 triples as well). I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'...

That's what I'm talking about! ;-D
DaShiz23
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Cafeholic
Posts: 3405
(Past Year: 7)
Joined: 3 Apr 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Don't call it a comeback.

Re: Ian Stewart - the next Utley or strictly a utility guy?

Postby Rhydderch » Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:49 am

what do people make of him starting opening day?
Rhydderch
Minor League Mentor
Minor League Mentor


Posts: 447
(Past Year: -11)
Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Ian Stewart - the next Utley or strictly a utility guy?

Postby yossarian » Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:55 am

Why was he taken out of the game?
yossarian
Major League Manager
Major League Manager


Posts: 2117
Joined: 20 Apr 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

PreviousNext

Return to Baseball Leftovers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron