Kevin Newman and Ke’Bryan Hayes Just Miss Top Prospect Lists

MLB Pipeline and Keith Law have been posting their lists of the top prospects in baseball. We had articles earlier this week for the Pittsburgh Pirates who made the lists, but two players were recently mentioned as just missing lists.

On Thursday morning, Law posted his list of the players who received strong consideration for his top 100 list, but they fell just short. Among the ten players he listed was shortstop Kevin Newman. As many of you know from the past, Law has always been the highest person on Newman, so it was a surprise to many that he fell off the top 100 list.

The article today includes his reasoning for why each player was left out of the top 100. For Newman, he pushes him  outside the list due to his body of work, which included a .669 OPS in Altoona in 2017, followed by a .688 OPS in 40 games at Indianapolis during the second half of the season. He also mentions that Newman isn’t as fast as he was in college, which takes away one of his plus tools. Law still sounds high on Newman though, believing that he could end up as an above average regular in the majors and he likes his chance of sticking at shortstop.

We will see our first farm system rankings tomorrow. Law had four Pirates  in his top 100 and now Newman just outside of it, so we may see them on his top farm system list, depending on how deep the list goes.

As for the other player just missing a list for the Pirates, Ke’Bryan Hayes was named as a third baseman to watch by MLB Pipeline. They called him an advanced hitter and defender with good athleticism. The reason he didn’t make the top ten is that they want to see him hit for some power first. The position is also deep this year, with tenth place on the list going to Jake Burger, who had a solid debut in Low-A in 2017 after being the 11th overall draft pick.

I’ll note that Keith Law had Hayes as the 61st best prospect (Baseball America didn’t have him top 100). Among third basemen in his top 100, Law has Hayes as the fifth best at the position. Eight third basemen made his top 100 and one made his just missed list today.

  • Kevin Newman, #101+ on Keith Law’s list, #1 in our hearts. (#2 on the field, if he’s still got his college number.)

  • Let’s say Moran does well and Hayes discovers his power. Good problem? Trade one? Move Moran to 1b and Bell back to RF (despite all of the ‘he’s never going back to the OF’ comments).

    • If Bell would ever go back to OF, I’d say now vs. later when he’s that much further removed from playing OF. That would allow them to see if Osuna is a major league player b/c 1B is his best position.

    • i can’t imagine Moran ever hits enough to be a legit 1b option, but we’ll see!

      i’d imagine one gets moved. or heck, maybe the both end up having platoon issues and complimenting each other perfectly.

      • Moran was traded to be our first baseman like Alvarez was drafted to be a first baseman

        • my sarcastameter is off today. i dont really get what you’re saying or if it’s a joke or what.

          Alvarez was a pretty good 3b until he forgot how to throw.

          • me thinks it was pretty good sarcasm….nobody wanted to see Pedro go to first or Moran end up there right after this trade.

          • i don’t think i mentioned anything about 3rd base in my response.

  • It was surprising to see no mention in MLB Pipeline of Moran -even in passing. As he will also be a starting 3B in the majors this year.

    • Pretty sure I counted 13 unique third basemen between the two lists without Moran being one of them, but on the other hand, Eric Longenhagen at FanGraphs (I suppose in conjunction with Kiley McDaniels at this point) snuck Moran and Reynolds into their already-released Pirate top prospect list with Moran at #4.

      • Fact checking Pittsburgh Pirate management statements is becoming national sport. Neal said last week that prospects from the Cole and Cutch trades were mostly top 100 rated prospects that had “graduated” to MLB non-prospect status. Isn’t it a fact that the only one that has lost prospect status and eligibility for the ratings is Joe Musgrave?

        How many of Moran, Reynolds, Crick, Feliz, Martin ever made a top 100 list? Assuming they are still eligible have they fallen off the lists like our old friend Alen Hanson did?

        • All of them are still Top 100 prospects per their “internal” valuations, silly.

          Seriously though Musgrove, Felize, and Crick have all exceeded eligibility and previously made at least one Top 100. I’d argue Musgrove would still be worthy of a spot in the back quarter but Feliz is now clearly a reliever and wouldn’t make the list while Crick is just bad, period.

          Moran, Reynolds, and Martin are still eligible and none of them appear to be ranked.

          • You’re right….I forgot their analysis shows a bit of organizational pixie dust will turn them all around.
            Not to quibble but my updated PP 2018 Guide has Kyle Crick as 19th on their Pirate prospect list, noting that he was “once a top prospect in the Giants’ system.”

            I guess under PP standards of eligibilty as a prospect the 32 innings with the Giants wasn’t enough to disqualify. No matter, the dude went to the bullpen because of lack of control, causing a big slide in his ratings.

            • Thanks for the heads up! I haven’t gotten around to purchasing my prospect guide yet, but it’s a must-have for me.

        • Crick was #33 at one time.

      • i had no idea they did this post-hoc. good eye.

    • Wow, Jason Martin also comes in at #17 on the updated list.

      • meanwhile, the sum of his “future” tools is actually slightly better than Reynolds, who is ranked 7 spots ahead. obviously there’s a lot more than just tools that go into a prospect ranking, but it’s just interesting.

        perhaps it’s that Martin looks more like a platoon guy.

        which makes me think… hit grades vs both handednesses of pitcher should come standard in a scouting report

  • They should give Joey Bats a 1 yr deal. Power, RF/3B/1B. Might as well.

    • Who Blue Jays?? as he would not add anything to Pirates.

    • Are you kidding? Neal would never do that because it would reopen old wounds regarding his departure and the Jason Bay trade for, among others, that stud Andy LaRoche.
      February 2nd, 2016 interview with MLB.com, ” The worst outcome trade we’ve made has been Jason Bay……it reinforced that professional scouts are really important, that we need to beef up our analytics….to put us in a better position to make better decisions.”

      Was it worse than the Walker trade? Yes. That was a salary dump disguised as a trade. Neal said later he should have taken some low level long shot prospects prospects for Walker. Of course, the cynical side of me notes that decision would have spared him the immediate public outcry when Jon Niese flopped….prospects take time to fail or advance.

  • Newman won’t matter cuz…Cole Tucker.

    • Great two weak hitting average fielding players battling it out for the SS position. I can’t wait for Stephen Alemais to own that position.

      • *sigh* weak hitting? Average hitting for short stop I would imagine is a safe bet.

        • Newman just cranked out a season hitting for a .669 OPS in AA and AAA, that, sir, is weak hitting.

          Tucker, managed to put up a .760 OPS between A+ and AA, which would grade out to about average, slightly better for the position.

          But more to my point, neither one should be a starting SS on a good team.

          • that, sir, is one year of weak hitting for a VERY good hitter. Or do you always rate players offensive ability based off their floor?

            • His career minor league numbers are that of a weak hitter. That is what I was basing it on.

              • *sigh* thats false, but whatever. I’m not going to debate whatever stupid numbers like ops or ops plus you use to garner that opinion.

                • Using ISO for his career:
                  2015: A-.113 wRC+ 85
                  2015: A .061 118
                  2016: A+ .128 171
                  2016: AA .090 108
                  2017: AA .099 83
                  2017: AAA .090 88
                  I could continue to pull out stats to prove the point, but I think you should get the picture. He had a great year for 189 PA’s in A+, but other than that, he has been average to below as a hitter. Kind of like how everyone here thought Gerrit Cole was an ace because he had a great year in 2015, in reality he was a steady #3 that had a great year.

                  • I could give a crap less about his ISO. he’s a shortstop, lets talk about his OBP and his batting average, and his walk/k %. As a potential leadoff hitter, his ISO is irrelevant. If you want to say he has no power, I’m not disagreeing at all…..you said he is a weak HITTER. he’s not, his hit tool is very sharp.

          • instead of weak hitter, maybe you could say a hitter coming off a weak hitting season.

    • well it still matters cause newman will just flip over to second and battle Kramer.

  • Pirates don’t need power from any position, they need PRODUCTION. Sooner or later the stereotypical view that corner infielders must be the big bats clubbing 25+ homers each year will cede place to focusing on production and contribution to the team.

    • They don’t need 3B to be a power hitter, but it’s really hard to be productive without *some* power. It’s rare for players with an ISO under .100 to have good seasons, and I don’t expect Hayes to steal bases like Billy Hamilton or Dee Gordon.
      Hayes needs to add power to his game if he’s going to be above average, even if that’s just 10 HR and a bunch of doubles – pretty much Starling Marte level power.

  • Lots of third basemen, both listed and missing, relevant to Pirate fans this winter.

  • i question whether newman will even be as good as mercer

    • Agreed. Mercer is rock solid, and the Pirates could do worse than having a bunch of Mercer-like seasons out of a pre-arb player. But that’s not a great recipe for winning the division.

    • What methodology would you employ to determine each ones relative value to the team?

  • Has anyone seen Mr. Hayes this winter? Any word on how his winter workout regimen is going?

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