Wednesday, October 3, 2018
By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
AFTER his third season at the Double-A level, Champ Stuart was released by the Binghampton Rumble Ponies and the New York Mets organization.
Stuart was one of 49 minor leaguers released by the Mets last week.
The 25-year-old had the most challenging season of his six years thus far in the minor leagues.
In 55 games with the Rumble Ponies, he posted career lows with a .136 batting average, 19 runs, two doubles seven RBI, a .280 OBP and a .544 OPS.
His 11 stolen bases were the lowest total since his 2013 rookie season in the Appalachian League.
He began the season hitless in 23 of the first 28 games and was his hitting just .094 in that timespan. He also had two separate stint on the seven-day disabled list over the course of the year.
In 101 games last season with the Rumble Ponies, Stuart led the Eastern League with 35 stolen bases, hit .222, slugging .331, an OBP of .310, an OPS of .641 and five home runs.
Stuart was a 2013 sixth-round pick by the Mets. A second generation professional player, “Champ” is the son of Jervis Sr and Cicely Stuart. The elder Stuart had a budding minor league baseball career of his own in the mid-1980s. He joined the Baltimore Orioles farm system in 1984 and advanced to Class A baseball in 1985.
Stuart played his rookie season with the Tennessee-based Kingston Mets before he received the call to Class-A. A Bimini native, in his three-year collegiate career, Stuart was a two-time All-South Athletic Conference selection at Brevard College.
He was promoted to Single-A baseball and finished with a productive first season with the Savannah Sand Gnats of the Class A South Atlantic League.
He hit .256 with three home runs, 28 RBI , 29 stolen bases and an on-base percentage of .341.
In 2016 he had a season of several milestones, including an appearance as a pinch runner in the final Grapefruit League game for the Mets in spring training. His last call up was also preluded by a stellar regular season, and an offseason spent in the Arizona Fall League. The league attracts many of the top prospects in the minor leagues and is designed for these prospects to refine their skills and perform in game settings in front of major and minor league baseball scouts and team executives, who are in attendance at almost every game.
He continued with the Port St Lucie Mets in Single-A Advanced, which led to a Double-A call-up with Binghamton. Through 114 games in both leagues, Stuart hit .240 with 34 RBI and eight home runs. He has also totalled an OBP of .319, slugging percentage of .349 an OPS of .663 and his aforementioned 40 stolen bases.
He was assigned to the Las Vegas 51s, the Mets’ Triple A-affiliate in the Pacific Coast League, this offseason, but was reassigned to Binghampton before appearing in a game. This offseason, Stuart also received a spring training call up from the Mets in Grapefruit League play.
Stuart was one of several Bahamian players to compete for Team Great Britain at the World Baseball Classic Qualifier in Brooklyn, New York.