NPB: Carter Stewart Wins First Career NPB Game For SoftBank Hawks

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks starting pitcher Carter Stewart received his first win in Nippon Professional Baseball after five years with the organization. 

Stewart threw six innings, allowed six hits, no earned runs, walking one batter, and striking out six batters with 102 pitches en route to beat the first place Pacific League (51-34-2) Orix Buffaloes 7-1 in the second game of their two-game road series. 

Stewart improved his record to 1-2 for the 2023 season. He’s started five games with a 1.57 record, throwing 28.2 innings and allowing 25 hits, five earned runs, one home run, 12 walks, and 30 strikeouts while facing 123 batters. 

Stewart was selected in the 2018 Major League Baseball Amateur draft by the Atlanta Braves as the eighth overall pick, and did not sign out of high school after committing to play in college at Mississippi State University.

The Braves offered him a signing bonus below the full value of the draft slot due to a wrist injury that he suffered during his final high school season. He opted to not sign and instead played the 2018-19 academic year at Eastern Florida State College, where he made 13 starts, going 2-2 with a 1.70 ERA striking out 108 batters.

Stewart went to Japan after one junior college season, signing with the SoftBank Hawks on May 30, 2019, for six years and $7 million.

Last season, Stewart pitched in Japan’s Western League in the SoftBank Hawks farm system, throwing 53.2 innings, appearing in 14 games with a 3-5 record and posting a 3.19 ERA, allowing 37 hits, four home runs, walking 42 and striking out 52.

Stewart played in the Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente in Puerto Rico during the 2022-23 winter season, starting in three games for Gigantes de Carolina, going 1-1 with a 1.06 ERA and throwing 17 innings, allowing nine hits, walking four batters, and striking out 23.

During the 2021 NPB season, Stewart went 6-3 between the farm and the big club with a 3.14 ERA, pitching 77.1 innings and allowing 61 hits, two home runs, walking 47, and striking out 91. He was 0-2 with a 6.08 ERA in the Pacific League, throwing 23.2 innings for the SoftBank Hawks, allowing 21 hits, 21 walks, and striking out 36.

In the 2020 NPB regular season, Stewart made 15 minor league starts, going 3-7 with a 4.16 ERA, throwing 67 innings allowing 65 hits, five home runs, walking 33 batters, and striking out 48. 

The SoftBank Hawks are in third place in the Pacific League at 45-40-2 and will play the second place Chiba Lotte Marines (45-34-4) in the first game of their three-game home series on Friday at 5:15 a.m. at the Fukuoka PayPay Dome. 

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