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2018 MLB Draft: Carter Stewart, RHP, Melbourne, Florida

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Fast-rising Florida prep looks for spot at top of 2018 draft

Continuing with our ongoing coverage of the 2018 MLB draft, let’s take a look at highly-promising right-hander Carter Stewart from Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, Florida. A few months ago Stewart was one of several high school pitchers with a chance to go in the first round of draft, but he’s since separated himself from the pack and is now a strong candidate for the top five.

Stewart stood out on the showcase circuit last summer for his outstanding curveball and projectable 6-6 frame. His fastball was generally in the low-90s with scouts feeling that it would pick up another notch as he matured physically and refined his mechanics.

That’s happened this spring, with his fastball topping at 96-97 with consistent 93-94 readings. He still has the excellent curve to go with it. He experiments with a promising change-up during bullpen work but this pitch is seldom used in games since high school hitters can’t manage his already-present two plus pitches. He’ll need to use the change-up more often in pro ball but this doesn’t seem like a hindrance for his stock. His control is good for a young power pitcher and he looks composed on the mound.

Listed at 6-6, 200, Stewart was born November 2nd, 1999. Some observers don’t like his arm action in the back of his delivery (his MLB.com report mentions this) but he repeats his delivery well and other experts (notably Kiley McDaniel at Fangraphs) are not concerned by the mechnical issue. As with any young pitcher there’s unavoidable injury risk but I don’t think his risk is any higher than typical for his age group. His overall upside is that of a number two starter.

Stewart is committed to Mississippi State University but should be signable if selected where his talent warrants. Assuming no last-minute health complications, he could be the first high school pitcher drafted this year.

Perfect Game video. Check out the disappearing ball.

Fangraphs video.