Corner outfielder DJ Stewart is chomping at the bit for the Baltimore Orioles to open the gates of opportunity. And due to unforeseen circumstances, it seems the time is now.
News broke over the weekend that the Baltimore Orioles had to place two players on the Covid-19 injured list, of which one is an outfielder.
With no timetable for a return, Stewart is an MLBbro who should get the ultimate green light.
After a few bright spots earlier in the season, the lone bird was relegated to the bench as others usurped him like the newly found All-Star Cedric Mullins, whose career continues to ascend.
In 191 plate appearances, Stewart, who struck out 66 times, is hitting .205 with an on-base percentage of .311.
He’s accounted for 27 walks, 24 RBI, seven home runs, and six doubles,showing that the potential is there.
DJ's playing the hits tonight pic.twitter.com/gOpIKSFULQ
— Orioles on MASN (@masnOrioles) June 3, 2021
The glovework wasn’t helping his case for more playing time either.
His difficulties on the defense took center stage when he misjudged a ball in the leftfield vs. the New York Yankees, leading to a concussion.
Peace does not come without conflict.
After finishing his collegiate career with the Florida State Seminoles, the 27-year-old slashed .344/.481/.570 with an OPS of 1.051 and 27 long balls. A dominant college career led to Stewart getting selected 25th in the 2015 MLB Draft.
Like most draftees, Stewart stayed committed to his craft as he spent three years in the Minor Leagues.
Stewart struggled to adjust to pro pitching and had down years in 2015 and 2016, before he eventually taking his game to the next level by slashing .279/.389/.448 during Single-A ball.
He continued his climb during the 2017 season as he raked .278/.378/.481 in 457 digs in the dirt. He continued to display serious power potential and set a career-high for the Bowie Baysox with 21 home runs.
Numbers such as those had fans and the team executives clamoring for the organization to call up the new bird.
So, in 2018, as the entire league expanded their rosters during the waning months of the season, DJ did what most baseball fans dream of by making his debut in the show.
2019 brought a plethora of injuries for the young sensation, and 2020 was the pandemic – shortened season in which Stewart spent most of the year balancing acts with the Orioles while also receiving rehab stints before eventually going on a tear.
When he gets rolling, their are few players who can match Stewart’s power surge.
During the early parts of September, he hit six homers in as many games.
Those kinds of numbers re-shined the spotlight on Stewart as the Orioles outfielder flashed potential by displaying power & grace at the plate.
For the black & orange, Stewart was repackaged ahead of the 2021 season like a newfound toy as his hot streak started against the globally known Yankees franchise, as mentioned earlier.
Unless the team calls up more competition, Stewart will have less to worry about as, like anything worth fighting for, consistency is the key to success.
Let the power slugger that runs like a gazelle continue to get more opportunities against big-league pitching to where he can hone his craft and come into his own as the spark is prevalent; he just needs something or someone to help light his fuse.