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Twins ink first-round Draft pick Stewart

Twins ink first-round Draft pick Stewart

Twins ink first-round Draft pick Stewart

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins signed right-hander Kohl Stewart, the team's first-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, the club announced Wednesday.

The 18-year-old, selected with the No. 4 pick out of St. Pius X High School in Houston, was the top-ranked high-school pitching prospect in the country, according to MLB.com

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He met with the media -- alongside Twins general manager Terry Ryan and fourth-round pick Stephen Gonsalves -- before Wednesday's game against the White Sox. Ryan said both pitchers will head to Fort Myers, Fla., on Thursday to begin their professional careers in the Gulf Coast League and that both pitchers signed for close to their slot values. The value for the No. 4 overall pick was $4,544,400, and the value for the No. 110 overall pick was $468,200.

"They'll pretty much dictate their future and where they ultimately finish the season," Ryan said. "They're both high-school pitchers, and the right place to start is Fort Myers and see how they adjust to the pro life and all that good stuff."

Stewart went 5-1 with a 0.18 ERA this year in 40 innings of work, striking out 59 with just 16 walks. Stewart was a first-team Rawlings All-American and a Texas All-Region first-team selection. As a junior, he went 8-0 with 72 strikeouts in 54 innings.

He also picked signing with the Twins over going to Texas A&M, where he was recruited to pitch and play quarterback for the Aggies.

"There's a lot of pride that comes with it, just talking to the people around the organization," Stewart said. "There's a lot of pride that comes with wearing that uniform. There's a lot of responsibility that me and him have to give it all we have every day to become the best that we can be and help this organization down the road."

Gonsalves, meanwhile, is a left-hander and starred at Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, where he went 10-0 with a 1.91 ERA this year. He was named a Rawlings First Team All-American and to the California All-Region First Team.

"It's a dream come true," Gonsalves said. "It's just an amazing experience to be out here and be here with Kohl. We were able to meet each other down in San Diego, hung out during the All-American game and became friends there. Now we're able to continue the journey together."

Stewart and Gonsalves also took a tour of Target Field and were able to meet Twins players, executives and coaches before the game. They also played catch on the field during batting practice and helped shag fly balls in the outfield.

"It's exciting for this organization to get them signed and get them playing," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It makes our system stronger and ultimately it'll make this ballclub stronger as it goes along."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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