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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Pittsburgh Pirates Promote Shortstops Kevin Newman, Cole Tucker and Stephen Alemais

Pirates Prospects has learned that the Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted shortstops Kevin Newman, Cole Tucker and Stephen Alemais. Newman is headed to Indianapolis, Tucker will join Altoona and Alemais will be headed to Bradenton. All are expected to join their new teams tomorrow.

Newman hit .259/.310/.359 with Altoona this season after spending the second half of last year there. He has shown improved defense over last year, though the offensive stats have not been up to par until a recent hot streak. Newman has a .790 OPS in July.

Tucker has made significant improvements this season, hitting for more power, while looking better on defense and using his speed to his advantage. That last area is one part that has been missing from Newman’s game this season with just four steals and six total attempts. Tucker hit .285/.364/.426 in the pitcher friendly FSL, while leading the league with 36 stolen bases. He had a 13-game hit streak snapped today.

Alemais didn’t hit well at West Virginia, but he is the best defender of this trio and likely only trails Gift Ngoepe as the best defender in the system. Alemais has been at Pirate City rehabbing a hand injury the last few weeks, playing eight games in the GCL, so he is just traveling across town. While with West Virginia, he hit .223/.266/.380 in 29 games.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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joe s

I guess we will now get to see if the bat will carry these young men to the show as the glove seems to be already there.

leefoo

Good to see that our future SS has moved up to Altoona!

🙂

tedwins

Hello mates – I applaud the move and also wonder, out loud, if the desire to promote Cole Tucker was a perhaps equal driver in this move… Regardless, makes sense

Bill Harvey

I see this as more of a move of necessity. Mercer only has 1 year of arb left, then he will be gone. The Pirates have to get Newman(not really deserving of a promotion) and Tucker(deserving of the promotion) to the upper levels to see if either is a viable replacement. Alemais is needs to learn how to hit, and soon if he ever wants to make it past AA.

emjayinTN

I think Mercer is the type who they can possibly extend reasonably as a mentor for the whole infield while he can still be effective as a Utility IF and play 3B, SS, 2B, and 1B. His defensive diversity, his ability to be the best No. 8 hitter in the league, and a sometimes power hitter, would be very beneficial for the Pirates.

andrew.oneill88

Shortstop shuffle!

Brian Z

I just can’t get excited about Newman yet and I don’t know why. I’m not as die hard into the minors as many of you are but he just doesn’t excite me. I feel he can be an ok major league SS but I’m looking for BETTER than Mercer and I don’t think he ever becomes better than Mercer is today.

leefoo

I am with you 100%, Brian….

Blaine Huff

I get your point…and a stud at SS would be great, but I’m a little higher on Mercer than the average guy.

He’s unspectacular, true, but he plays the position well and has a bat that justifies starting at SS.

After years of watching the Pirates trot out retreads and never-will-be’s at this position, Mercer has been a welcome bit of stability.

Jordy’s time in Pittsburgh is coming to an end…if the Pirates can replace him at a lesser cost, I’m all for it so long as the saved money is reinvested in the on-field product.

Brian Z

Oh don’t get me wrong, I love Mercer, totally under the radar solid SS and his bat is good enough. But if Newman’s ceiling is Mercer then I don’t like that since not everyone hits their ceiling.

AttyMike

I agree on Mercer. I think he’s been quite good for them. Steady.

Joe Nastasi

I’m with you on Mercer, I’ve always liked him & I about blew a gasket when Hurdle went back to his favorite man crush Barmes right before the playoffs. I just just hope Tucker is ready in 2019 because I just don’t have faith in Newman.

Joe Nastasi

I have felt the same way since he was picked. I hope I’m wrong, but just doesn’t move the needle for me. I like Cole Tucker & Kramer as middle inf prospects the most

leefoo

I hope I’m wrong,

Joe…I just heard JD’s teeth clench when you wrote that. He has given me grief over that expression so much, I quit saying it.

eric i

Now time to get Will Craig to Altoona also.

AttyMike

We’re developing that guy for another team. He’s stuck behind Bell and Osuna ain’t too shabby either. He made a really nice play last night. Unless, of course, they put him back at 3B (where they have dreck) and train him up to play there.

Coldstonecami

Anyone of these players could be traded for the right pieces. I know that at least one of them was on the list of possible PTBNL in the Nova trade last year, but wasn’t chosen by the Yankees.

Ken

It certainly wasn’t Newman or Tucker.

nmagera07

About time!!

PieRat

Do the Pirates want scouts to get better look at Newman before the trade deadline.

Wellington Wadsworth Whitaker

Isn’t Leo Walter a scout ?

Ken

You’re joking, right?

nate h

Really? You think we would trade him?

ddo729

I sugested that the Pirates might be showcasing him. As for me I’d trade him if it helped the Pirates be a better team. I’m higher on Tucker anyway.

PieRat

Why not we have some depth at SS now. I wouldn’t be opposed to trading anyone. I’m growing tired of having good enough players at every position, but not good enough to contend. The Pirates horded Hanson and look what happened. I grantee you he’s not on the Pirates no trade list.

jedeweese

Yes, that was exactly my thought; IF the brass decides to be a little trade-aggrressive, Newman, Cole, Luplow, AAA pitching are all attractive trade pieces. I would actually keep Cole over Newman. Would hate to see Newman go, but he is one of the most valuable 2nd tier players on the farm. I do not think he qualifies to be in the top tier, but many teams would be happy to have him. I REALLY don’t want one of the top tier 5 or 6 traded, but if the right offer comes…it will be an interesting week and a half.

Bobby L

Just say ‘no’ to trading Luplow.

burghb

I think in a year, if all is well with both prospects, I’d entertain moving one of Newman or Tucker at that point, as they both seem likely to stick at SS and you also have Kramer for 2B. With Jordy a UFA in 2019, whichever one you like more you keep, and either one will pretty much be ready around that time frame (because prospects are guaranteed and punctual in this argument). Then you have Gift/Moroff as emergency plans if you trade one and the other struggles.

But, definitely wouldn’t do it this year- team’s probably not quite good enough to trade premium pieces, and I would think they would want to see another year of development (and trade a more valuable player at that time).

dr dng

who gets displaced at Indy?

emjayinTN

Bostick, Gosselin, Moroff, and keep Ngoepe as a very valuable insurance policy, and have him playing 2B opposite Newman – that interaction would help Newman. At the MLB level, however, if Newman hits he will go to 2B to start, then SS, and then back to 2B when Tucker is ready.

AttyMike

And Gosselin will lose starts at SS. He had a healthy number of starts there this year.

Wilbur Miller

Gift.

Thom

Won’t they just move him to 2b? Moroff in Pittsburgh, Bostick to the OF, Ngoepe to 2b, I’d guess.

AttyMike

This is the Pirates. Everybody at 2b 😉

jedeweese

Yep, I hope he doesn’t learn to hit when he gets traded; hopefully he doesn’t get lost as an MiL FA. He is a fun player to watch off the batter’s box.

Edward C

If Gift could just hit …….

Y2JGQ2

Some people just don’t have the “gift”

Ken

“Kevin Newman has hit .319 in his last 27 games (June 17th).” , , , , I believe this was the exact date when one of the experts on this board said Newman should be demoted to Bradenton.

Travis P

I wanted him demoted to Bradenton…so I could watch him for $6 whenever i felt like it. Lol

piraddict

Is Alemais really ahead of Valerio in development? The bat isn’t.

Wilbur Miller

Alemais probably would have opened the season at Bradenton, as a draftee out of a major college, but Tucker was there. I guess they’re looking at more than where the bat is right now.

emjayinTN

And, Alemais is 22 and Valerio is 20. Development-wise, I would choose Valerio based on performance this year.

eric i

Wonderful news!

Darkstone42

Yes.

deacs

That’s it out of you?

Darkstone42

You can’t read it, but my inflection was very pleased.

You all know already how I feel about this.

(I feel very good about it.)

emjayinTN

Sometimes the hardest thing for the Pirates to do is the obvious. A strong move forward

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