NEW YORK -- DJ Stewart may have experienced some late-season struggles with Triple-A Norfolk and gotten off to a slow start in his first few games in the big leagues, but the rookie outfielder has turned some heads lately.Through June 22 in the Minors, Stewart had slashed .278/.374/.461, but by
NEW YORK -- DJ Stewart may have experienced some late-season struggles with Triple-A Norfolk and gotten off to a slow start in his first few games in the big leagues, but the rookie outfielder has turned some heads lately.
Through June 22 in the Minors, Stewart had slashed .278/.374/.461, but by the end of his season on Sept. 3, his batting average had dropped to .235. After he received his first call to The Show on Sept. 11, he started his Major League career 0-for-13 through his first five games. Despite what the numbers showed, Orioles manager Buck Showalter saw more.
"I mean, if you look at just pure numbers and batting average and all that other stuff, he's had some good at-bats," Showalter said. "He's had some baseball player's at-bats."
Although some may struggle with the transition from the Minors to the big leagues, Showalter seemed to think that Stewart -- the O's No. 22 prospect according to MLB Pipeline -- has not been overwhelmed through the process. In his 10 games with the Orioles, Showalter has noticed Stewart's impressive work ethic and said that the young outfielder is "engaged" in every aspect of the game. Stewart notched a pinch-hit sacrifice fly and an RBI double in the O's 6-3 win over the Yanks on Sunday.
"This isn't something that, because he's in the big leagues for the first time, he's got all this energy," Showalter said. "What you see in between innings, what you see on the bases -- this guy's gonna do that regardless of whether there's 10 people in the stands or there's 40,000. He's not enamored. He's like, 'OK, it's cool. I'm here, but now let me get on with my business.' He's a baseball player. He's fun to watch."
Like all slumps for any professional baseball player, Stewart's appears to have come to an end. In his past five games, he has gone 7-for-12 (.583) with three doubles, two homers, two walks and six RBIs.
"Not at all," Showalter said when asked if he was surprised by Stewart's recent success. "I've seen a lot of guys when they come up here ... the lights are better, supposedly the umpires are better, just a lot of the travel is better and your body feels better. They actually tend to do better if they have the skill level, so I'm hoping that stays."
Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.