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Orioles Select Outfielder DJ Stewart In First Round Of 2015 MLB Amateur Draft

June 9, 2015

For the first time in five years, the Orioles chose a hitter in the first round of the amateur draft, selecting Florida State outfielder DJ Stewart with the No. 25 overall pick June 8.

Stewart, 21, batted .318/.500/.593/1.093 during his junior year with the Seminoles. He hit 15 home runs and led the nation with 69 walks. As a sophomore, Stewart was named the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, batting .351/.472/.557/1.029.

Orioles 2015: MLB Draft Pick D.J. Stewart (Florida State)
Photo Credit: wlpearce/FSU Athletics

At 6-foot, 230 pounds, Stewart was considered one of the top power prospects in the draft.

"Stewart is an accomplished college hitter whose power should play well in our park at Camden Yards," scouting director Gary Rajsich said. "We are excited to have him."

Baseball America noted the lefty-swinging Stewart has an "unorthodox stance" that involves a low crouch, but added, "Many scouts believe that if he just stands up a little taller, he'll be able to turn on inside pitches with more consistency and tap into more of his power."

Because of Stewart's size and average speed, left field is considered to be his best position. However, ESPN's Keith Law pegged Stewart as a future designated hitter because of his size.

Stewart was the first position player selected by the Orioles in the first round since shortstop (now third baseman) Manny Machado in 2010. He was also the first outfielder the O's selected in the first round since Nick Markakis in 2003.

The Orioles also held the No. 36 overall selection as compensation for losing outfielder Nelson Cruz as a free agent, and they drafted shortstop Ryan Mountcastle with that pick. Mountcastle, listed at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, played for Hagerty High School in Florida.

Mountcastle was ranked No. 122 on Baseball America's list of prospective draftees. As with Stewart, Mountcastle has good power, but is a question mark on the defensive end. 

"He's not going to play shortstop at the next level," draft expert Jonathan Mayo said June 8 on MLB Network. "I would probably move him out to an outfield corner."