In 2012, Stewart graduated from Providence Christian Academy in Gwinnett County, Georgia. He tied future MLBer Micah Owings with 69 homers in high school career in Georgia. That is just 6 shy of the national high school record of 75 homers.
Christin then was off to the University of Tennessee on a baseball scholarship. He majored in world business.
2014 USA Collegiate team: Stewart of Tennessee finished as the lone Team USA player to hit above .300; he hit a blistering .383/.474/.605 on the summer with 2 homers, 16 RBIs and 12 doubles.
Stewart raised his profile with a strong summer turn with USA Baseball. In 2014 He's continued to show enough with the bat to make him the kind of college performer who typically does well once the draft rolls around.
- In 2015, Stewart got drafted by the Tigers (see Transactions below).
October 2016: A couple weeks after the Tigers named Stewart the organization's Minor League Player of the Year, MLBPipeline.com honored the slugging outfielder as their Tigers Prospect of the Year.
In 2016, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Stewart as the 4th-best prospect in the Tigers organization. He was at #2 in the winter before 2017 spring training. And Christin was the 9th-best prospect on Tigers farm teams early in 2018.
They had Christin at #8 in the spring of 2019.
September 2017: Christin was named the Tigers minor league Player of the Year.
- MLB debut (Sept. 8, 2018): As he rolled up to Comerica Park on a Sunday morning, Christin Stewart was feeling the effects of 2 1/2 hours sleep and an early morning regional jet from Durham, N.C. As he saw the Tigers facade and walked into the home clubhouse, he could be excused if he had to pinch himself in case he was dreaming.
"When you've worked your whole life to get to this point and then you finally get here, it's kind of hard to put into words," Stewart said. "I mean, I always dreamed as a little kid to get here, to be a big league baseball player. It's a blessing."
The feeling was nothing compared to when he stepped to the plate in the ninth inning for his first Major League at-bat, pinch-hitting against Cardinals closer Carlos Martinez and Christin's parents in the stands. Stewart worked a full count before popping out to third to end the game, a 5-2 Tigers loss. "Oh, man, just a huge adrenaline rush," Stewart said. "When they told me, 'You might be going in to pinch-hit,' just a lot of emotions. It was a blast. I just loved it."
In 2018, Stewart was named the Tigers’ Minor League Player of the Year.
The first thing Christin’s mom wanted to know after the Tigers’ win on July 14, 2019, in Kansas City was how the little girl hit by the foul ball was doing. So did Stewart.
He had seen the line drive head into the stands and hit the young fan. He had seen such incidents on foul balls off the bats of other players, but this was the first time he had hit one such ball. As much as he tried to focus on his at-bat, it clearly lingered with him.
“You’re trying to focus, but you know you just injured someone by hitting a foul ball,” he said. “It’s something you can’t really control, but it sucks because you obviously have that feeling. It’s not a good feeling. But you still have to try to focus on the at-bat and get the job done. It was a huge relief to know that she was OK.”
Stewart learned the good news quickly. The young fan was transported to a local hospital and kept overnight, but was released afterwards.
Stewart joined several Royals players in signing a ball for the youngster with a get-well-soon message. “It was pretty crazy,” Stewart said. “It wasn’t a good feeling at all. I’m just glad she’s all right. That’s the biggest thing.” (Beck - mlb.com - 7/17/19)
2020 Season: Stewart he hit .167 with three homers and nine RBIs in 36 games, leading to his demotion to the alternate training site in September.
- June 2015: Christin was a first round pick by the Tigers, the 34th player chosen, as compensation for losing Max Scherzer to the Nationals. And he signed for a bonus of $1,795,100, via scout Harold Zonder.
|Birth City:||Lawenceville, GA|
|Draft:||Tigers #1 - 2015 - Out of Univ. of Tennessee|
Stewart has always shown a good amount of bat speed. Christin hit the weights the winter before 2016 spring training, and got stronger. Now he hits lots of home runs, His lefty homer power is geared strongly to his pull side. His hit tool is just fringe-average, and he has a swing geared to hit balls at the bottom of the zone. But he has the strike-zone awareness to lay off when pitchers work around him, so he posts solid on-base percentages. (Spring, 2019)
His swing can get big, but he has shortened it, allowing him to backspin the ball more to is pull side. He has good leverage and impressive bat speed. He hits to all fields.
Christin looks at a lot of pitches, working pitchers into deep counts. So he strikes out a lot, but he also walks a whole lot, putting up an impressive on-base percentage.
“He’s got big power,” Tigers farm director Dave Owen said in 2017. “Between Erie and Lakeland last year (2016), he hit 30 home runs, so he’s going to be a guy who you project to drive in some runs and hit the ball over the fence.”
While Stewart does swing and miss a bit He is an aggressive hitter whose swing gets long, and he is prone to swinging through breaking balls with a pull approach, which gave scouts concern about his strikeout rate as an amateur. In college, Stewart had a habit of getting topspin on balls to his pull side, but in pro ball he started to pull balls with backspin, showing big power without excessive swing and miss.
But he thinks the big reason for his great start in 2016 is because he "was not chasing out of the strike zone and getting my pitches to hit."
Christin is a run producer. In 2016, overall with Lakeland, Stewart hit.264/.403/.534 with 24 home runs and 68 RBIs in 442 plate appearances before being promoted to Double-A Erie.
Stewart didn’t fare as well at Erie, where he batted .218/.310/.448 in 24 games. He still totaled 30 home runs and 86 walks in 128 games, tying him for fifth in the minors in home runs and ranking sixth in walks.
Stewart gets some Ray Lankford comparisons. He recognizes pitches quickly and has steadily turned himself into a tough out. He has above-average raw power, but he has a hit-first approach in games. e is prone to chase because he's looking to do damage whether early or late in counts. He has some zone awareness, and when he stays within himself he can generate power from a relatively compact swing. (Spring, 2018)
2018 season: Stewart led the Tigers organization in home runs in each of his three full seasons of pro ball, with at least 25 in each season and a high of 30 in 2016. He improved his overall approach without sacrificing power in 2018, cutting his K rate but still hitting 25 long balls.
- As of the start of the 2021 season, Christin had a career batting average of .225 with 15 home runs and 59 RBI in 519 at-bats.
2017 scouting report: Everyone questions his glove and they are right to do so; lacks speed/range, lacks instincts, arm mediocre; doesn’t make tons of errors but definitely limited to left field and can’t afford to lose more mobility. (John Sickels)
Christin is best used in left field. His arm is a bit short for right field, and his speed is too limited for center. He doesn't have enough range.
The big question he faces is his defensive ability in left field. It has improved, but he gets 40 grades for his arm and his defense.
“He’s really committed himself to being the most fit, mobile and agile athlete possible,” said Tigers vice president of player development Dave Littlefield in 2018. “Obviously, he’s done well with the bat, but defensively he’s at the top of his game right now. He’s better than he’s ever been.”
- Stewart does not get good jumps, and then takes questionable breaks to the ball. He is just
not a naturally gifted defensive player. But ask Stewart where he’s improved the most since being drafted and he’ll mention defense in the same breath as his approach at the plate.
“It’s taken leaps,” Stewart said. “Just being out there every day, working with the rovers, playing with and against better players (has helped). Those are probably my two biggest leaps: Having a better approach each at-bat and defense, just getting better reads, better routes.”
Tigers farm director Dave Owen lauded Stewart for his efforts.
“He doesn’t take his defense lightly,” Owen said. “He’s not just a guy who comes and tries to hit. He’s really working hard with (roving instructor) Gene Roof in the outfield and you can see it’s making a difference.”
- Christin is not real speedy. It's not part of his game. He is a 40 grade on the scouting scale. But he does display good instincts on the bases.
June 27-July 12, 2018: Stewart was on the DL.
October 2018: Stewart underwent core muscle surgery.
April 18-May 9, 2019: Stewart was on the IL with right quad strain.
- July 30-Sept 3, 2019: Stewart was placed on the IL with a concussion after he crashed into the left-field wall on a home run by Kole Calhoun. Stewart nearly made a catch on Calhoun’s drive that bounced off the top of the wall and went into the Tigers’ bullpen. But he made impact with his left side, sending him into a heap on the warning track.