Ian Stewart Performing in Full-Time Role

After spending time in limited roles over the last two seasons, it appears that Ian Stewart has finally locked down a permanent spot at third base with the 2010 Rockies. Wednesday night was supposed to be a day off for Stewart, but he still found a way into the game. In only his 3rd pinch-hit appearance of the year, Stewart drilled a Tim Stauffer offering into the seats for what would prove to be the game-winning home run.

Last night’s home run continues what has begun as Stewart’s best major league performance as of yet. Stewart’s triple slash line of .271/.370/.482 entering Wednesday night’s game is the best line he’s posted in all of the three categories. Naturally, that means his .367 wOBA and 118 wRC+ are also currently career highs.

Right now, there aren’t any indicators that show this start to be any sort of significant fluke. His BABIP of .322 is only one hit higher than his career line of .307 – 19/59 vs. 18/59. His HR/FB is up to 22.7% after last night’s shot, but that’s only one HR higher than his 2009 rate of 18.8%.

The key so far for Stewart has been a roughly five point drop in strikeout rate, down from 32.5% and 33% career to 27.1% so far this year. That’s still a high rate, and one that will likely prevent the 25-year-old Stewart to become a superstar in this league, but the drop has allowed Stewart to increase his batting average, and more importantly, his OBP.

Throughout his professional career, the discipline has been there and the power has been there. For Stewart to make the jump to the next level, the contact has to develop. After earning a starting role for the 2010 season, it appears that Stewart is doing just that.



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Mike L
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Mike L
6 years 1 month ago

What infuriates me to no end is seeing Stewart penciled into the 8-spot in the batting order every night by Tracy. To make things worse, when Stewart sits, Melvin Mora actually bats higher up in the order. Of all the poor choices Tracy makes as a manager, this one doesn’t seem to get mentioned.

Jimbo
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Jimbo
6 years 1 month ago

I don’t like it when he gives that ONE bump up in the order for a night. What good is that? Make him feel pressure to ‘do something’ as an audition?

He might not yet be a consistent vet, but when you see the improvement this year why not give him a higher spot for a couple weeks?

Resolution
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Resolution
6 years 1 month ago

Tracy’s been annoying me with his defensive carousel this season. I feel Stewart should be in there every day aside from the occasional rest day. I also don’t like seeing Stewart bat so low in the order, however this seems to be more a function of wanting to keep the lineup R-L-R-L-R-L or something.

Also, in response to the article, about a week ago, Stewart’s k-rate was at about 22%. I’m not sure if a bad week has moved him to 27% or he’s regressed to where we expect him to be. He has made some significant changes to his swing and his k-rates in the minors weren’t so bad. I think he could maintain a k-rate around 25%.

Jimbo
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Jimbo
6 years 1 month ago

He had a 3 strikeout game on Tuesday (against a lefty who was ‘on’). That was his only 3 K game this year, and before that had a 24% K rate. His eye is definitely improving. Looking at his daily K% chart, it seems the largest cluster of data points are below his average on the year…and starting out the season on par with his best stretches of 2009. Made me curious if his K’s have come in bunches. Checked walks too for gits and shiggles.

Last year he had 2+ k’s in 34 games, or 29% of games with 2+ plate appearances. This year it is 21%, even with Tuesday’s game.

Last year he had 2+ bb’s in 11 games, or 9% of qualifying appearances. This year he’s had 4 already, 17% of possible games.

Part of what made me want him this year (for fantasy) was the work he’d put in to address in-game adjustments. One way I’d expect to see that impact his stats is fewer really bad stretches. 3 of his 5 multi-K outings have come in his last 4 starts…so hopefully that isn’t a bad omen. I’m sort of hoping April 2010 is a baseline and he improves from here. Would hate to look back and think it was his best month, while not selling high!

Dan
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Dan
6 years 1 month ago

All right on. I wrote about Stewart a couple of weeks ago: http://5280baseball.com/2010/04/23/ian-stewart-swing-less-miss-less-hit-much/

hizilla
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hizilla
6 years 1 month ago

For what it’s worth. Stewart did not hit the HR as a pinch hitter. He was inserted into the game in the bottom of the 10th as a defensive substitution/double switch.

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