A recent history of Twins’ First-Round Picks
By Chris Schad
2013: P Kohl Stewart (4th Overall)
Coming into the 2013 MLB Draft, the Twins were desperate for some pitching help. While Minnesota would have loved to land a top college arm such as Mark Appel (Houston) and Jon Gray, they were taken off the board in the first three picks along with Kris Bryant.
With the Twins on the clock, they selected Kohl Stewart, who was deemed arguably the best prep arm in the draft. With a fastball that was clocked as high as 96 MPH and a hard breaking ball to go with it according to Perfect Game USA. Stewart had ace potential written all over him and the Twins had an easy path for him to grab that title upon his arrival in the system.
Things got off to a good start for Stewart as he made his way to Double-A Chattanooga to make 16 starts (9-6, 3.03 ERA) in the second half of the 2016 season. From there, things went downhill as he mysteriously lost the velocity on his fastball and teams started having more success. As a result, his ERA ballooned to 4.28 in 2017 and 4.47 in 2018.
Stewart has made an appearance on the Twins roster since, debuting late last season registering a 4.25 ERA in six starts for Minnesota so far. Those are definitely not the ace numbers the Twins expected when investing a high draft pick and stings more in a class that includes standouts Clint Frazier, Austin Meadows and Tim Anderson.