NPB: Starting Pitcher Carter Stewart Jr. Signs Extension Through 2026 Regular Season With Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks For $9.9 Million 

(Source: Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks)

Matthew Tallarini 

The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks from the Pacific League in Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan signed starting pitcher Carter Stewart Jr. to an extension contract through 2026 worth $9.9 million, Yahoo News Japan reported on December 15. 

Stewart, 24, was born in Melbourne, Fla completed his fourth overall season in NPB with the SoftBank Hawks and has also split time on their farm level team also since he arrived in Japan prior to the start of the 2020 regular season. 

Stewart is represented by sports agent Scott Boras. 

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 appeared in 14 games throwing 77.1 innings posting a 3-6 record and a 3.38 ERA allowing 70 hits, seven home runs, 29 earned runs, 42 walks, 67 strikeouts, a 1.448 WHIP and a 1.60 strikeout-to-walk ratio. 

Stewart also pitched with the farm team of the SoftBank Hawks organization in 2023 throwing 23 innings in four appearances posting a 1.17 ERA allowing 13 hits, three earned runs, two home runs, three walks, 29 strikeouts, and a 0.696 WHIP. 

Stewart pitched in Game 1 of the 2023 Pacific League best-of-three Climax Series against the Chiba Lotte Marines on October 14 throwing 2.1 innings facing 12 batters allowing two hits, three earned runs, three walks, and two strikeouts alongside recording the loss. 

In the 2022-23 winter league season, Stewart played with Gigantes de Carolina of the Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente in Puerto Rico for three starts throwing 17 innings posting a 1-1 record allowing nine hits, two earned runs, four walks, 23 strikeouts, and a 0.765 WHIP. 

During the 2022 regular season, Stewart played with the farm team for the SoftBank Hawks throwing 53.2 innings with a 3-5 record in 14 appearances including a 3.19 ERA allowing 37 hits, 19 earned runs, four home runs, 42 walks, 52 strikeouts, and a 1.472 WHIP. 

Stewart in 2021, split his time playing in the regular season between the SoftBank Hawks and their minor league team going 6-3 with a 3.14 ERA alongside a 3.14 ERA throwing 77.1 innings allowing 61 hits, 27 earned runs, two home runs, 47 walks, 91 strikeouts and a 1.397 WHIP. 

All 12 NPB teams will start their training camps prior to the start of the 2024 regular season in the middle of January. 

The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks will host the 2023 Pacific League champion Orix Buffaloes at the PayPay Dome on March 29 in the first game of the 2024 NPB regular season. 

Game times have yet to be announced for the Pacific League, Central League, and Interleague games for the 2024 regular season. 

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