Pittsburgh Pirates: MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects for 2017

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jordy Mercer's Potential Replacement
Jordy Mercer’s Potential Replacement could be Newman. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

# 59, Kevin Newman, Shortstop

Newman ranked as MLB Pipeline’s number 51 overall prospect on the midseason updated list, and he is now at number 59. He was given an honorable mention on the Top Ten Shortstop list for 2017 by MLB Pipeline.  He started 2016 in High-A, and posted a robust slash line of .368/.428/.494 in 41 games.  Those impressive numbers were backed up by his 6.3 percent strikeout rate, and a strong WRC+ of 171.  He then was moved to Double-A about half way through the season. He saw his numbers regress some, but that was to be expected at a higher level. Still, he put up strong numbers for being his first full season of professional ball.


Double-A is one of the toughest jumps for hitters, as they start to face more experienced and mature professional pitchers.  However, Newman held his own, and some, for the Curve. At Double-A, Newman posted a solid slash line of .288/.361/.378.  While his power numbers did not translate to Double-A, he still put up a strong OBP, and only struck out 9.0 percent of the time, while walking 9.7 percent of the time.  Plus, a majority of the scouts, who have seen Newman play,  believe he will be an average defender at shortstop and will stick there.

2017 (Thoughts on where he should start here)

Newman very well could be the shortstop of the near-term future for the Pirates.  Rum Bunter and other outlets have confirmed that the Bucs are trying to extend Jordy Mercer.  This could be because the Pirates may look to deal Newman for a pitcher.  Many have projected Newman to be part of a Quintana trade.  If not, Mercer could move to second base.  Kevin Newman could very well open at Triple-A this season.