Kevin Newman Ranks Among Best Prospects in the NYPL

Baseball America released their list of the top 20 prospects from the NYPL on Friday morning. Shortstop Kevin Newman was the only player from Morgantown to make the list, ranking seventh overall. The list was called top-heavy due to the amount of first round picks, but overall, it was a down year for talent and depth in the league.

Newman did not hit well during his time in the NYPL, putting up a .226/.281/.340 slash line in 38 games. He did much better after being promoted to West Virginia, where he hit .306 and had a 9:8 BB/SO ratio, to go along with his .743 OPS. Newman won two Cape Cod League  batting titles and hit .337 as a junior, so the potential is there for a high average in the pros, but there are questions.

In the write-up from BA, scouts and opposing managers questioned whether he would hit for any power and if he could actually stick at shortstop. One manager said that he thought he would either be a future utility player or a second baseman.

Baseball America ranked the GCL prospects on Thursday and the Appalachian League on Wednesday. So far, the Pirates have had one player on each league’s list, with the full-season leagues coming up next week.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    September 26, 2015 1:25 pm

    This kind of award kind of makes the award itself a joke….does actual performance even enter into it? Although a good player and prospect who i think will contribute down the road, it appears he was a reach as was Tucker. I don’t either of these guys will ever be great hitters and run producers, but hopefully both can stick at SS. If they can’t, their prospect status diminishes greatly.

    I like Tucker’s size for a SS – tall and rangy – hopefully he can stay there and be a productive major leaguer at that position. Newman – I see him sending up at second base eventually. I’m not convinced he will be a major league shortstop defensively, due to limits in his range. Time will tell.

  • You’re my boy, New(man)!

  • Why do rankings often hold so much emphasis on pre-professional performance and draft status even AFTER a player has gotten some professional time under his belt? Maybe not enough time in this case? Okay, as everyone knows, Newman performed well in college and in the Cape, but in 159 AB in A- he hit .226 with a 2:1 K/B as a very experienced 22 year old college player. Actually because of his college experience and poor performance in A-, his ranking should have been even lower than without his prior experience… Oh…but he was a 1st round pick so lets put him up top. Or maybe they were mistaken altogether and were thinking of another Kevin’s performance..

    • Because this is a *prospect* ranking, not a *performance* ranking.

      You try to sound like the smartest guy in the room by claiming this is based on draft position and use his poor performance as evidence, while at the same time ignoring that he went on to hit over .300 at a *higher* level.

      If you have any confidence in your scouting ability what so ever, you absolutely should not be changing your mind after just the first hundred or so at bats in a kid’s professional career.

  • The issue I have with Newman is he isn’t a kid, he’s a college player who appears to be near his ceiling and I’m not moved by the organization taking a limited upside person with a No. 1 pick. It’s a waste. Even at his ceiling he’s basically a singles hitting SS? A waste with other high upside players on the board.

    • You’re not going to get a Bryce Harper, or even an Austin Meadows, with the 19th overall pick. If you get a guy who projects as a ML starter, you’re doing fine.

      • Not that it’s even close to a realistic expectation, but Trout went number 25 I believe.

      • Starting SS on a ML team is a credible ceiling for a 1st Round pick. A SS who wins a batting championship, plays credible defense, steals a few bases, etc — that’s Newman’s ceiling.

        Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that OBA is the more important component of the OPS metric. If Newman can remain a SS and hit like Freddie Sanchez, we should consider ourselves blessed.

    • High upside often comes with high risk. Many fans desperately wanted Jake Gatewood a few years ago, despite the issue with his risk and potentially big holes in his swing. And as Gatewood has shown thus far, sometimes high upside isnt assuredly any better than any other player.

  • With Tucker’s injury, it seems like next season is Newman’s chance to do some leap-frogging in the system. Hopefully he takes advantage of the unfortunate situation.

  • Kevin Newman is a real mystery to me. I know Keith Law loved him, which carries some weight with me, but I saw him play twice this summer, and he never really wowed me, although I did see him make a nice play in the hole which caught my attention. I was surprised that a guy who did so well in the collegiate summer leagues did not hit better…We’ll see…