DePo Likes What He Sees From Nieuwenhuis

An article by posted on May 10, 2011

Adam Rubin posted some comments about Mets prospect Kirk Nieuwenhuis made by Vice President of Player Development, Paul DePodesta

“Obviously he’s having a great year,” DePodesta said. “There’s no real story there. The thing that is interesting to me about it is that he’s one of the rare guys that as he moves up levels, he continues to get better. His performance gets better at each level. That’s generally rare. But he’s a guy out of Azusa [Pacific University]. He didn’t play in the SEC or something like that in college. He’s sort of still figuring it out a little bit.

“His power has gone up consistently at each level. He’s either maintained or increased his plate discipline at every level. And when you can be improving your patience and your power at the same time, that’s pretty good, and pretty rare. For all those reasons I’m excited about him even beyond just the standard batting line, because he just continues to get better all the time.”

I’m pretty excited about his assessment of Captain Kirk who is having a stellar season at Triple-A Buffalo. The 23-year-old is hitting .304 with five homers, 12 doubles, 11 RBIs and two stolen bases, but what really stands out is his .407 on-base percentage, .557 slugging and .964 OPS which ranks ninth in the league.

According to Rubin, scouts in spring training identified two areas they needed to see improvement with Nieuwenhuis — hitting curveballs as well as facing left-handed pitching.

It looks like Nieuwenhuis is doing just that and he now has a .381 on-base percentage against LHP this season. He could be ready to replace Carlos Beltran in the Opening Day lineup next season if he continues on his current pace.

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