#8 – CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

Bats/Throws: L/R

Height/Weight: 6’3”/210 lbs

Acquired: 3rd Rd 2008 (Azusa Pacific)

Born: 8/7/87 (Ripon, CA)

2009 Rank: 23

Why Ranked Here: Nieuwenhuis has a big league body, defensive chops in center and a well-rounded offensive game with some speed, patience and power.   Much of his development in 2009 had to do with becoming more comfortable pulling the ball.  In the early going, Nieuwenhuis began the season with St. Lucie with good opposite field power, but had trouble when pitchers worked him inside.  By August, he was punishing them for coming inside to him, turning outs into basehits.  Nieuwenhuis playd CF and RF for Brooklyn in ’08, but patrolled CF exclusively for St. Lucie in ’09. He has the speed and range to handle center now, but if he fills out as he ages, he will be forced to the corner.

2009: Kirk Nieuwenhuis was in the midst of a solid, but unspectacular campaign in the Florida State League in 2009 as July came to a close.  Then, in the weeks leading up to his 22nd birthday in the first week of August, he ripped off a 15-game hitting streak.  That led into a sensational August when he was one of the hottest hitters in all of the minor leagues raking to a .345/.406/.647 line with six homers in 27 games.  In August, 21 of his 40 hits went for extra bases.

Dr. Pangloss Says: Niewenhuis stays in CF, and makes a few All-Star games.

Debbie Downer Says: With a K-rate above 20% in both the NYP and FSL, Nieuwenhuis won’t ever hit more than .270 in the big leagues.  If he can’t play center everyday, he’s nothing more than a fourth OF.

Projected 2010 Start: Binghamton CF, looking to prove that his extraordinary conclusion to the ’09 season was no fluke.

MLB Arrival: 2011

08 SSA 74 285 79 15 5 3 29 70 11 7 .277 .348 .396 9.09 21.94 7.21 .355
09 A+ 123 482 132 35 5 16 53 118 16 4 .274 .357 .467 9.69 21.57 10.24 .332
09 AA 8 32 13 3 1 1 4 9 1 1 .406 .472 .656 11.11 25.00 13.89 .545

Nieuwenhuis photo courtesy Jim Donten

There are 4 comments

  1. ihob

    Can somebody tell me who I’m missing:

    Niese – I was under the impression he was no longer a prospect true/false?

    Other than that I got nobody

    Side note, great to see that with our cheap stance on the draft Kunz (1S 2007) and Javier Rodriguez (2nd 2008) have fallen completely off the list. Toby, I’m guessing J-Rod was closer to making the list than Kunz?

    1. Not4Nuttin

      Pretty sure Niese is still eligible and the last piece.

      Niese only has pitched 39.2 innings in the bigs, so unless he has logged more than 45 days of big league service, he has not yet lost his rookie status, which may be what Toby uses as the cutoff.

      Question though – with Niese’s year ending with an injury last year, does he get credit for the remaining part of the season since he was on the DL? Or did they demote him before putting him in the DL? Is that legal?

      1. NateW

        That would be highly illegal :)

        Niese is still a rookie because they changed the rule to only include active service time. I think Fernando Martinez falls into the same catagory even though both of them have over 100 days of service time, most of it was on the DL last year.

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