Sporting WCA

The Most Underrated Athlete in WCA History

When you think Westminster baseball, what comes to mind? Other than the four state championship runs, and longtime coach Mr. Van Gilst, the first thing that comes to mind are the great names like Jacob Turner, Shane Benes, and the Mathenys. All of which dominated the high school baseball world, and have a future in professional baseball. However, these are not the only Westminster greats that may someday be playing in the MLB.

Current Varsity Shortstop and star pitcher, DJ Stewart, could be playing professional baseball as soon as next year. When you look at DJ’s stats from the last two seasons, this comes as no surprise. DJ as just a sophomore recorded one of the most dominant seasons on the mound in Westminster history. DJ pitched 24 innings and only gave up one run, which adds up to a phenomenal ERA of 0.29, which is better even than Jacob Turner’s senior year. Turner who went 9th out of over 1,500 prospects in the 2009 MLB draft. DJ raised more than a few eyebrows with his play off of the mound as well, hitting for a batting average of .350 and recording 20 RBI’s. DJ played second base and created a nearly seamless middle infield along with now Kansas shortstop Ben Sems. Not only did DJ impress some Westminster spectators, but college and Pro scouts started to take notice as well.

DJ continued his success at the varsity level his sophomore year, posting once again a stellar ERA of 1.87 to go along with a 3-1 record. DJ also flashed the leather a few times throughout the season, making some highlight fielding plays at both second base and Shortstop.

“DJ’s range combined with his throwing arm is what makes him such a special defensive player, He not only gets to ground balls that no one else can get too, but he has the arm to get the ball over to first base as well,” said teammate Kevin Graham.

DJ also improved at the plate his Junior year, raising his average to .364 and also hitting a homerun to go along with 17 RBI’s. But the real highlight of the year for DJ came halfway through the season when he committed to Eastern Illinois to play college baseball

“I’m super excited and I’m ready to be in college now. I really like the coaches and players as well as the overall atmosphere, I also am excited because I have a good chance of playing in my first year.”

DJ has not just shined on the baseball field throughout his Westminster career but also on the hardwood as well. DJ was a star on the JV and freshman basketball teams as a freshman, but then decided to take a break from the sport for his 10th and 11th grade years to focus on baseball (which seems to have worked pretty well). DJ picked up right where he left off when he made a return to the court this season, he was thrown immediately into the starting lineup and is the staple of consistency in the WCA lineup this season. Dj has averaged 8 points and 8 rebounds a game this season, which is very close to averaging a double double (when a player hits double digits in 2 of the 5 main stat categories, points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks), something that no WCA player has ever done before. DJ has recorded 5 double doubles this season, and dominated the paint against a very good Priory team by recording 14 points and 12 rebounds. He is also reliable to find the open man with flashy passes and bring the ball up the court when he needs to.

As well as a basketball career could have ended up for DJ, he definitely has a career in baseball. Come June, DJ will have a decision to make. As the MLB draft rolls around DJ will either have to decide to skip college and go ahead and play pro baseball, or commit to playing at Eastern Illinois for the next 3 years at the minimum before he can start the draft process up again. DJ is in the thick of the process right now, he has talked to 18 of the 30 Major League teams, and the Philadelphia Phillies even paid a visit to his house!

“The scouts talked about the benefits of being drafted and what the whole process is like” Said Stewart, “He really just gave me more information about the situation i’m in, It was really helpful talking to him and learning more.”

Given his dominance in two different sports, and even having a future in one of those two sports makes DJ Stewart the most underrated athlete in WCA history. DJ did not even crack the top 25 athletes in Westminster history in SportingWCA’s recent poll, even though there are only 2 professional athletes on the list. DJ has earned the right to be considered one of Westminster’s best of all time, but yet he seems to has slid under the radar. DJ Stewart is without a doubt the most underrated athlete in Westminster history.