Inspired by College Baseball Daily’s list of the top 100 college baseball players, BluGrass Baseball is counting down the top 25 returning Kentucky collegians in advance of the 2011 season. We continue the list today with one of the state’s top position players.
No. 4 — OF Stewart Ijames — University of Louisville
UofL redshirt junior outfielder Stewart Ijames batted .324 with 14 home runs, 63 RBI and 47 runs scored. Ijames ranks third in 2010 home runs and RBI among returning Kentucky collegians. Ijames boasted a .570 slugging percentage and .406 on-base percentage in 2010. The Owensboro native also stole seven bases in 11 attempts. Ijames returns to the Cards after turning down the New York Yankees’ contract offer as the team’s 29th round pick.
The Owensboro Catholic alum missed all of the 2009 season with rotator cuff problems. During the summer 2010 Ijames batted .219 with three home runs, 16 RBI and 18 runs scored in 46 games in the Cape Cod League. Prior to the 2010 draft Baseball America wrote “Of all the Cardinals’ hitters, Ijames has the swing best suited for wood bats, and he still has untapped lefty power in his 6-foot-1, 215-pound frame.” Ijames was named to two different freshman all-American teams in 2008 and was second-team all-Big East last season.