The Mets announced a number of non-roster Spring Training invitations this evening. Among those included was corner outfielder DJ Stewart, indicating he’s signed a minor league contract with the club.
Stewart joins the second organization of his career. A first-round selection of the Orioles in 2015, he hit well in the minors and reached the big leagues roughly three years after being drafted. Stewart appeared in parts of five seasons with the O’s, working mostly as a role playing left-handed bat in the outfield rotation. He played in 100 games and tallied 318 plate appearances in 2021 but otherwise didn’t top 44 MLB contests in any season.
Altogether, Stewart has taken 622 trips to the dish at the big league level. In a bit more than one season’s worth of playing time, he’s hit 26 home runs and walked at an excellent 13.2% clip. That’s been largely offset by a higher than average 26.8% strikeout percentage and a modest .256 batting average on balls in play. Overall, he owns a .213/.327/.400 line against MLB pitching. He has rated as a below-average defender in both left and right field.
Baltimore outrighted the 29-year-old off their 40-man roster last April after he’d tallied just three big league plate appearances on the season. He was on and off the minor league injured list throughout the remainder of the year, only getting into 29 games for Triple-A Norfolk. He hit .256/.390/.488 in limited action for the Tides, bringing his career Triple-A mark up to .255/.358/.449 in a little under 900 plate appearances.
Stewart brings a patient plate approach and some power upside to the Mets’ organization. He joins Tim Locastro, Abraham Almonte and former Reds’ farmhand Lorenzo Cedrola among non-roster outfielders who’ll be in big league camp. If Stewart gets to the 40-man roster at any point, the Mets could bounce him between Flushing and Triple-A Syracuse for the rest of the season by virtue of his remaining minor league option year.