At one point, Kevin Newman looked like he could potentially fit into the Pirates’ long-term infield plans. But his offensive production took a significant nosedive after his strong 2019 rookie campaign. After regaining some value in 2022, the Pirates sent him to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for righty reliever Dauri Moreta. So far, it doesn’t look like Newman will be part of the Reds’ infield plans after 2023 either.
Newman is slashing just .253/.311/.364 with a .296 wOBA, and 77 wRC+ through 253 plate appearances. Newman is once again striking out at a low 13.4% rate, but his 6.7% walk rate is below average. Newman has never hit for power, and although his .111 isolated slugging percentage is the best he’s had since his rookie year, it’s still nothing to brag about.
Newman has been used all over the Reds’ infield. He’s graded out as about a league average defender at second base, third base, and first base. However, he’s having the worst defensive season of his career at shortstop. In just 148 innings, he already has -6 defensive runs saved and -3 outs above average. Aside from 2021, Newman has always graded out as a below average defender, though this is by far his worst year with the glove at short.