Kevin Newman needs to be the permanent lead off hitter
By putting together a phenomenal rookie season Kevin Newman won the starting job at shortstop for the Pirates in May. At one point it also appeared he had won the job as the lead off hitter. However, one hot week by Adam Frazier before the break changed this.
It is time for Newman to permanently supplant Frazier in the lead off spot.
After going 1-for-2 with a double a two walks on Sunday, while batting lead off with Frazier not in the starting lineup, Newman now owns a .326/.368/.461 slash line with a 117 wRC+ this season. This trumps Frazier’s numbers. Frazier is slashing .278/.329/.402 with a wRC+ of 91.
The week before the All-Star Break Frazier was arguably the hottest hitter in baseball. This led to him being named National League Player of the Week. Since the break, however, Frazier has struggled.
Frazier is just 5-for-28 with zero walks since the break. This falls in line with what, minus one week, has been a bad season for Frazier. It’s time for Newman to permanently supplant him at the top of the Pirate batting order.