Scouting Mets' Prospect #37: Caleb Stewart

The New York Mets drafted outfielder Caleb Stewart with their 22nd round pick in the 2004 draft out of the University of Kentucky. Stewart, an All-SEC selection in 2004, made his professional debut with the Cyclones before making a name for himself in Capital City. Stewart ranks #37 among our Top 50 Mets' prospects.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Caleb Stewart
Position: Right Field
DOB: June 11, 1982
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 220
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Stewart grew up in Rush, Kentucky and attended the University of Kentucky where he was one of the team leaders. He led the Wildcats in nine offensive categories in 2004, including hits (72), runs scored (50), doubles (20), home runs (10) and total bases (128). He batted .329 and started all 54 games in the outfield. In three seasons with Kentucky, Stewart posted a career .314 average with 19 home runs and 88 runs batted in. While the SEC has some really good baseball programs, the University of Kentucky has never really had that reputation. "No, Kentucky isn't known for being a baseball school," Stewart told earlier in the year. "But playing the tremendous competition in the SEC every week really helped me prepare for this opportunity."

Stewart was assigned to Brooklyn to make his professional debut with the Cyclones in June. After the rigors of the college season, combined with the crowded Brooklyn outfield, Stewart had a hard time finding consistent at-bats with the likes of Ambiorix Concepcion, Dante Brinkley, Derran Watts, and Corey Coles already vying for playing time in the outfield. The problem was compounded further once Jim Burt signed in late June, pushing Stewart further down on the depth chart as Burt and Davidson now split time between first base and designated hitting. As a result, the Mets sent the 22-year old right fielder to Capital City to get him some more playing time.

Caleb, a natural right fielder, helped bolster an already good Bombers' outfield and he helped Capital City offensively after Ian Bladergroen was lost for the season with an injury. Stewart impressed the Mets in his 25 games in the South Atlantic League, hitting five home runs and showing improved patience at the plate before a numbers crunch sent Caleb back to the Cyclones to finish out the season. The fact that Kentucky is not known as a hotbed of baseball talent was perhaps the reason he slipped in the draft. But make no mistake, he's got a ton of talent. "Caleb is a young man who is capable of really sneaking up on people in professional baseball," UK coach John Cohen said. "He has a physical body that, once it develops, can really make him a great baseball player. I'm so happy that he is getting this opportunity because he's been a great player for us here at the University of Kentucky and he deserves this chance."















Capital City

























* Stats as of 10/1/04

Batting and Power. Stewart is an athletic ball player with good power. He has a very good eye at the plate and has good pitch recognition. He has the ability to be a .290-.300 hitter as a professional and enough pop in his bat to bang out 20+ home runs annually. In a system filled with speed, Stewart's power is a welcomed addition.

Base Running and Speed. Stewart is quick for a big guy. He's a good base runner and has the ability to pick his spots to steal some bases, but he's not a real big threat on the base paths.

Defense. Stewart played right field for the University of Kentucky and will play there some as a professional. He has decent range and a good arm. He's an adequate right fielder, but projects more as a left fielder in the Mets' system that already has the likes of Concepcion, Jamar Hill, and Carlos Gomez higher on the depth charts in right field. He can play either corner outfield position if called upon and will not disappoint defensively.

Projection. As is the case with most college players that begin their professional career, Stewart is going to have to put up the numbers at the higher levels before he's viewed as a starting outfield prospect. He does have a sound game all around and does possess enough power to project as a starter down the road. Until he posts the numbers he's capable of, Stewart projects as a solid fourth outfielder. He's a "sleeper" though, one to keep an eye on in the next couple of years. Jason Bay of the Pirates is a good MLB comparison as Stewart could reach the Majors with the same type of little fanfare along the way.

ETA. 2008. While he's a good ballplayer, Stewart has a hard climb ahead of him. He's got quite a few outfielders ahead of him in the talent department and he's going to have to hit his way to Shea. With his patience and selectivity at the plate, he could progress through the farm system pretty quickly however. Stewart could find his way into the St. Lucie lineup as early as next season.


2004 Team

Victor Diaz

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Prentice Redman

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Jeff Duncan

AA - Binghamton Mets

Angel Pagan AA - Binghamton Mets
Wayne Lydon AA - Binghamton Mets
Ron Acuna AA - Binghamton Mets
Bobby Malek AA - Binghamton Mets
Alhaji Turay A - St. Lucie Mets
Jonathan Slack A - St. Lucie Mets
Joseph Jiannetti A - St. Lucie Mets
Lastings Milledge A - Capital City Bombers
Jamar Hill A - Capital City Bombers
Ryan Harvey A - Capital City Bombers
Rashad Parker A - Capital City Bombers
Caleb Stewart A - Capital City Bombers
Ambiorix Concepcion A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Corey Coles A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Dante Brinkley A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Derran Watts A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Seith Pietsch R - Kingsport Mets
Carlos Gomez R - Kingsport Mets
Joshua Wyrick R - Kingsport Mets
Jesus Gamero R - Kingsport Mets
Horace Lawrence R - Kingsport Mets
Cory Wells R - Gulf Coast Mets
Brahiam Maldonado R - Gulf Coast Mets
Parris Austin R - Gulf Coast Mets
Miguel Garcia R - Gulf Coast Mets


Two years ago, the Mets were really devoid of any real threat in the outfield among their prospects. They currently have a handful of legitimate outfield prospects, players that could become full-time starters at the Major League level. While Victor Diaz and Prentice Redman are the closest to the Major Leagues, Lastings Milledge, Jamar Hill, and Ambiorix Concepcion give the Mets a very athletic look in the future. The Mets could have a very, very good outfield down the road.

1) Victor Diaz - AAA-Norfolk Tides - Diaz, making the switch from second base to right field in 2004, looked pretty comfortable in the field and at the plate. There's never been a question about his bat (he has won two minor league battle titles), just his attitude and defense. It will be interesting to see if the Mets make the commitment to Diaz in their outfield after a very good AAA debut in 2004, or use him as a trading piece for an established Major League talent.

2) Prentice Redman - AAA-Norfolk Tides - Redman does a little bit of everything well. He can run, hit, hit for power, and possesses speed. The problem is he doesn't any one of them very well. His future at the Major League level is as a reserve outfielder.

3) Jeff Duncan - AA-Binghamton Mets - Once patrolling centerfield for the Mets, Duncan was demoted all the way down to AA this past season. With Cameron tied up for the next two seasons, and with Milledge right behind him (or ahead of him in many ways), Duncan needs a change of scenery with a new organization.

4) Angel Pagan - AA-Binghamton Mets - Pagan is developing into a very good reserve-type outfielder that can play all three outfield positions and can hit at the top or bottom of the lineup. He make very good contact at the plate, has excellent speed, a good arm, and brings good enthusiasm into the clubhouse.

5) Wayne Lydon - AA -Binghamton Mets - Lydon is all about the speed. With 227 stolen bases the last three seasons, Lydon's a light-hitting defensive player that has a knack for the stolen bases. His ticket to the Majors is as a defensive replacement and pinch-runner.

6) Bobby Malek - AA-Binghamton Mets - There's a reason the Mets made Malek their 4th round selection in the 2002 draft. Malek is a very good defensive player that possesses a rare combination of power and speed. After struggling last season after elbow surgery, Malek regained his college form in 2004, hitting 14 home runs and stealing 15 bases. Malek still has the potential to be a starting outfielder at the Major League level. 2005 could be a breakout year for Malek.

7) Ronald Acuna - AA - Binghamton Mets - A very good contact hitter and excellent defensive player, Acuna's lack of power is his downfall as a prospect. He has just 5 HRs in his last 1,441 minor league at-bats. He's a 4th or 5th outfielder at the Major League level.

8) Joseph Jiannetti - A-St. Lucie Mets - Originally drafted as a 3B, the Mets moved him to 2B back in 2002 and then moved him to the outfield in 2004. Jiannetti is a nice hitter with decent pop. He's got the potential to be a reserve outfielder or as a possible utility player.

9) Jonathan Slack - A-St. Lucie Mets - Slack is a good defensive centerfielder much in the same mold as Lydon. Good defensively, decent hitter, great speed, and not much power. He's got the look of a possible reserve outfielder.

10) Alhaji Turay - A - St. Lucie Mets - The talent is there. A good defensive player, Turay has big time power potential and excellent speed. He has 30-30 potential and is easily one of the Mets' best run producing prospects....WHEN HEALTHY! Turay has to put together a full, healthy season before he becomes an elite prospect, but he does have that kind of talent.

11) Jamar Hill - A - Capital City Bombers - Hill, with 26 HRs & 20 SBs in 2004, had a breakout season this past year and showing the promise he displayed in Kingsport back in 2002. If he can duplicate the same success at St. Lucie in 2005, Hill could make that leap into one of the better outfield prospects in all of baseball.

12) Lastings Milledge - A- Capital City Bombers - Already considered the Mets' top prospect after the Mets trade Scott Kazmir, Milledge had a very good first year of long-season baseball. Milledge does it all: power, speed, defense, hitting, etc. He strikes out a bit too much, but could learn more selectivity as he matures. Easily the top outfield prospect for the Mets!

13) Ryan Harvey - A - Capital City Bombers - Harvey certainly gets overlooked by many despite being a very solid outfielder. Harvey, the Bombers' lone All-Star in '04, does a little bit of everything. Currently, he has the look of a reserve outfielder at the Major League level but he could be a late bloomer much in the same manner Jason Bay was. He's one to keep an eye on.

14) Rashad Parker - A - Capital City Bombers - Parker's a defensive and speed replacement at the minor league level. There's no reason to expect anything else.

15) Caleb Stewart - A - Capital City Bombers - Stewart is a big kid that moves very well. He has a very good batting eye and decent power. He could develop into a Major League starting outfielder down the road.

16) Ambiorix Concepcion - A - Brooklyn Cyclones - The player formerly known as Roberto Solano, Concepcion is a five-tool talent that has the raw ability to be an elite outfield prospect for the Mets. Voted by Baseball America as the top prospect in the NY-Penn League this year, Concepcion reminds scouts of Vladmir Guerrero at the same point in development.

17) Corey Coles - A - Brooklyn Cyclones - Coles had a tremendous start to the 2004 season for Brooklyn and then had a disasterous finish. At 23, he's going to have to have some success at higher levels before we get too excited about him.

18) Dante Brinkley - A - Brooklyn Cyclones - Brinkley is a nice player that can do a little bit of everything. He has the look of a future reserve outfielder.

19) Derran Watts - A - Brooklyn Cyclones - Has more speed than Brinkley, a better arm, and is better defensively. But has a long way to go to become legit outfield prospect.

20) Carlos Gomez - R - Kingsport Mets - Gomez was a wide-eyed 18-year old kid playing rookie ball this past season, but has the raw talent to be a special prospect. He's got a cannon for an arm, good batting eye, and developing power. He could be atop this list next year along with Lastings Milledge and Jamar Hill as the Mets' best outfield prospects.

21) Seth Pietsch - R - Kingsport Mets - A little old for the Appy League, Pietsch is a strong kid with good power and speed. He needs to show some success at the higher levels.

22) Joshua Wyrick - R - Kingsport Mets - Wyrick, an 11th round pick in the 2004 draft, had a decent professional debut. He's a speedster with great range.

23) Jesus Gamero - R - Kingsport Mets - Has an excellent batting eye and developing power.

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