JUNE 27: Stewart himself announced today (via Instagram) that he has officially signed with the Orioles.
JUNE 26: The Orioles are nearing an at-slot deal with first-round selection DJ Stewart, Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com reports (Twitter links). Stewart is in Baltimore for his physical, so it appears that the finishing touches will be in place shortly.
Stewart, an outfielder from Florida State, was taken 25th overall. That slot came with a $2,064,500 allocation, and Melewski says that he’s expected to receive that amount for signing.
The industry consensus had Stewart as a first-round talent, with Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs rating him the 26th-best available prospect. Baseball America (30th) and MLB.com (36th) also placed him in that range, while ESPN.com’s Keith Law valued the overall package somewhat lower, rating Stewart 70th on his board.
Stewart’s best attributes are featured at the plate, where he presents strong hit and power tools, as evidenced by a lengthy track record of major college success. Though Stewart has yet to tap into his full power potential, he is said to deliver an advanced approach that made him a reliable on-base threat at FSU.
In spite of his stocky build, Stewart is considered a good athlete with average speed. Scouts say he possesses below-average arm strength, but he figures to be a reasonable option in left.
Baltimore is still juggling its draft spending after handing seventh-rounder Gray Fenter a well-above-slot $1MM bonus that will require the club to come up with over $800K in extra pool space. However, in addition to some other savings from later selections, the O’s freed $411,900 in capacity in agreeing to terms with 36th-overall selection Ryan Mountcastle. The club has agreed to terms with all of the selections from the top ten rounds except for second-round pick Jonathan Hughes, a high school righty.