Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart broke out with 25 home runs last year, and he's raking early on in 2010. The 25-year-old Stewart is Internet-savvy as well – he answered questions for MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith recently and can be followed on Twitter here.
MLB Trade Rumors: You made it to the majors as a 22-year-old. What was the biggest adjustment you've had to make as you've gone from rookie to regular?
Ian Stewart: The biggest adjustment I have had to make is just making sure that I am ready to play every day. Since I got to the big leagues in 2007, I haven't been a starter. I used to come to the field knowing I probably wasn't going to play that day because we had Atkins at third and Helton at first. Todd hurt his back in 2008 so I ended with a lot of playing time toward the end of the year and when Jim Tracy took over last year I played a lot as well. I think those two examples helped me prepare for being the starter during this 2010 season.
MLBTR: It's funny when Dexter Fowler introduces Todd Helton to Twitter in one of the Rockies' new commercials, but seriously – is it distracting to have so much information about you and your teammates online?
Stewart: Personally, I don't think it's that big of a deal. For me, there really hasn't been anything too personal showing up on any website or anything. We have such a good group of guys that I'm not you would find much out about anyone.
MLBTR: What was it like to hear Garrett Atkins come up in trade talks last year, when you would usually be mentioned as the reason for why the Rockies could afford to move on and get younger?
Stewart: Honestly I didn't pay much attention to it. Garrett was a teammate and friend of mine so I hoped he wouldn't have to leave. I realize this is a business though and am grateful for the opportunity the Rockies have given me.
MLBTR: Some people give the Rockies lots of credit for having a homegrown roster. Others doubt that it makes much of a difference in terms of wins and losses. Does the fact that so many players came up through the system together mean the Rockies win more games?
Stewart: This is a tough question to answer because I don't know any different than what the Rockies do here. We have a very special thing going on in Denver. Our whole team has practically all grown up in the minor leagues and big leagues together and I can't begin to explain how awesome that is. Does it give us any kind of an advantage? I don't know. But you definitely won't find a closer-knit group of players anywhere else.
MLBTR: If you were running a major league team, what kind of club would you put together? Lots of pitching? Lots of speed? Lots of power?
Stewart: You forgot defense. I would say a mix of pitching and defense. I feel that pitching and defense wins championships.