Last season, the Minnesota Twins watched in awe as injuries ran rampant throughout the farm system. Major prospects like Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton had their 2014 seasons turn out to be an absolute wash. Alex Meyer dealt with injuries down the stretch, and former first round draft pick Kohl Stewart missed time with a sore shoulder. Stewart is ready for 2015 however, and he has a clean bill of health on his side.
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After missing time due to shoulder soreness last season, there was some fear that there may be something larger wrong with top prospect Kohl Stewart. Reports surfaced however that the injury was caused mainly by uncomfortable bus rides. At any rate, it now appears Stewart is all systems go in 2015.
Not surprisingly, February’s are always filled with players suggesting that they are as healthy as they have ever been, or that they’ve never been in better shape; it’s an all too common response. With that in mind, Kohl Stewart’s case is somewhat different.
After the Twins selected Stewart with their first round pick in 2013, the two-sport athlete now only had one profession to focus on. Walking away from a scholarship to play quarterback at Texas A&M, Stewart now was going to turn his sights to baseball full-time. Now with two professional seasons under his belt, he is still learning how to make it through the grind on his arm as a full-time job.
Knowing that building arm strength needed to be a focus this offseason, Stewart turned to something he knows rather well. Tyler Mason of Fox Sports North recently did a story on the prospect in which we find out that Stewart turned to football to build up his arm.
Stewart to Mason, “It’s obviously a heavier ball, so it’s going to build you some arm strength. When I was in high school coming up and I had continuously thrown the football every day, that really was key to me making strides in high school and becoming a prospect, I guess you could say. I think for me, the football is something that I like doing and it definitely helps my arm strength.”
Looking through the reasoning, and understanding his offseason, there is significant reason to believe that Kohl Stewart has put his shoulder issues of 2014 behind him. Knowing that climbing the ranks of the farm system, and eventually taking a place at the top of the rotation depends on his arm holding up, it’s good to see the young prospect putting emphasis in that area.
As Stewart continues to develop and progress through his major league career, he will continue to grasp the pitching game to a further extent. You can bet however, that football influences will always play a part in his career. That’s probably not a bad thing though, considering Joe Mauer would be amongst that company.
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