Florida State freshman DJ Stewart has had one heck of a first season in Tallahassee.
It's not often you see a true freshman take over a lineup the way Stewart has– especially at a perennial baseball powerhouse like Florida State.
But the freshman's athleticism and love of the game shine through on ever play and he tows the fine line between tenacity and plate discipline like a seasoned vet. On Wednesday, Louisville Slugger rewarded the Seminoles' freshman outfielder with a selection to their Freshman All-American team.
Stewart has been an offensive leader for the Seminoles since his first game. Heading into the Super Regional against Indiana he leads Florida State in hitting (.363), hits (78), doubles (25) and slugging percentage (.567). He ranks in the top 10 in the ACC in six offensive categories including doubles (2nd), batting average (4th), on-base percentage (5th), slugging percentage (6th), RBI (t-8th) and total bases (10th).
Stewart was also honored with All-ACC second team honors, was voted to last weekend's All-Regional team and frankly, was my Regional MVP after going 7 of 11 in those three games. Twice an ACC player of the week, it didn't take long for the Garnet and Gold faithful to embrace DJ– and that hasn't been lost on him.
"It's awesome, I was actually talking to my dad about it the other day," said Stewart. "Going up to the plate I hear the fans more and more, it's awesome hearing that they really appreciate me being here and what I'm doing. The fans have been great to our team the whole year, but it's an awesome feeling walking up to the plate, making a good play and hearing them cheer for you.
Stewart and Florida State will host Indiana in a Super Regional that begins Saturday at noon, weather permitting.
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(Photo courtesy of Ryan Syrkus)