Kirk Nieuwenhuis has become the forgotten man with the Mets

Posted: March 7, 2014 in Opinion, Spring Training
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By Steven Inman

Kirk Nieuwenhuis has all the tools to succeed but time is running out Photo by NY Post

Kirk Nieuwenhuis has all the tools to succeed but time is running out
Photo by NY Post

Despite being just 26 years old, Kirk Nieuwenhuis has become the forgotten man with the Mets. The man Mets fans call “Captain Kirk” got off to a great start to his big league career with the Mets in 2012 but pitchers soon figured him out. He can’t handle the high fastball or the breaking ball in the dirt. He has not learned to lay off those pitches and it has caused him to badly struggle in 2013. In 108 plate appearances in the big leagues last year Nieuwenhuis hit just .189 with three homers.

Obviously Nieuwenhuis is not going to do any damage on pitches near his eyes or by his feet so he must learn to lay off those pitches or he will be out of major league baseball before long.

At this time last year the Mets plan was for Kirk to be the Mets righty piece of a centerfield platoon. Now he is in danger of losing his spot on the Mets 40-man roster.

Nieuwenhuis is a great athlete. He can run, he is a terrific fielder, he has power but if he doesn’t hit for better contact he will become a journeymen, bouncing from team to team. Nieuwenhuis hit just .248 in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League in 2013.

Nieuwenhuis has gotten off to a solid start this spring, hitting .400 but there has been virtually no talk about the lefty making the team as an extra outfielder so far.

Will Nieuwenhuis make it as a major leaguer in 2014?

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