There’s more analysis coming, at least tangentially related to that fun one Thursday afternoon which the Mets won on Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ drive to the warning track off Heath Bell in the bottom of the ninth.
As Keith pointed out on the broadcast, Nieuwenhuis knew he was going to get a fastball. With Bell, up to 47 pitches tiring, he left a 91 mph cookie, and Nieuwenhuis smoked it.
It’s too early to say “I told you so.” Nieuwenhuis, after going 3-for-5 Thursday is hitting .333/.403/.517 with six extra-base hits, six walks and 19 strikeouts in 18 games. He’s played a nice centerfield. He’s pushing toward a full win’s worth of fWAR.
And yet, coming into the season, I had him ranked #4 among Mets prospects. That’s higher than anyone else did. Here is his rankings by outlet Baseball Prospectus (#11), MLB.com #11, ESPN (#9), Baseball America (#7), John Sickels (#6), FanGraphs (#9). He’s been in my Top 10 for three years now.
Writing anything based on 18 games worth of baseball is a really, really bad idea (including this post). His averages will all come down. And yet he’s already provided more value to the 2012 Mets than many other highly ranked prospects will ever contribute.