Baseball

Joe Stewart chosen by the Angels in MLB Draft


One yr in the past, graduate heart fielder Joe Stewart wasn’t certain if he would ever step on a baseball area once more. However after a breakout senior season at Michigan State, former Michigan head coach Erik Bakich took an opportunity on the graduate switch. Following a stellar season, he was chosen by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  with the No. 268 general choose within the 2022 MLB Draft.

The unrelenting work ethic and pure athleticism he displayed all through this previous season with the Wolverines facilitated drastic enhancements from his 2021 season, and it translated to  on-field success.

“Joe Stewart involves thoughts,” Bakich mentioned when requested which gamers turned heads in preseason practices. “He’s in all probability essentially the most improved participant from when he first acquired right here. … He stands out, I feel he’s acquired an opportunity to have a particular yr.”

Stewart thrived within the Michigan system, shortly carving out his position because the quantity two hitter within the batting lineup behind junior proper fielder Clark Elliott, who was chosen earlier within the draft by the Oakland Athletics with the No. 69 choose. Slashing .349/.572/.981, Stewart led the workforce in batting common and stolen bases.

And his development and success all through the season didn’t go unnoticed by opposing coaches. Stewart was named to the third workforce All-Large Ten and the All-NCAA Louisville Regional Crew.

Stewart produced for Michigan  all yr, however his biggest power was exhibiting up in huge spots  towards rivals in key video games.

Within the Wolverines’ three-game sweep towards the Spartans, Stewart hit two dwelling runs, introduced  in 4 RBIs and scored 5 runs on his former area. His finest efficiency got here on April 23 in a win over Ohio State.

Towards the Buckeyes pichers in a late-April matchup, Stewart placed on a historic efficiency, smashing three dwelling runs — two of which had been grand slams — and tallying 11 RBIs. He set the Large Ten file for RBIs in a sport and placed on a present.

“Joe has been superior,” Bakich mentioned after the Ohio State sport. “He’s simply been superior. He’s performed good heart area, he’s finished job hitting the highest of our order and setting the desk and he’s the deadly mixture of velocity and energy. … ​​His finest days of baseball are forward of him.”

Now, Stewart will take his instruments to Anaheim. Regardless of already being 24, his mixture of power and velocity is attractive on the subsequent degree  — and clearly the Angels agreed. 

After practically saying goodbye to the diamond fully a yr in the past, Stewart has an opportunity with the Angels to make a mark on the farm system and to play on the highest degree.

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