Legends On Deck

Out Of Options, Mets Nieuwenhuis Tearing It Up

Kirk Nieuwenhuis

Photo Courtesy: MLB.com

The New York Mets took Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the 3rd round of the 2008 draft and since 2012, he has spent time between the minors and on the major league roster.

During his minor league career, Nieuwenhuis has been a career .274 hitter, but in his time in the majors, he hasn’t hit higher than .259. Now out of options, he is looking to finally stick with the Mets and become a major part of their outfield rotation.

He has currently hit safely in all four games he has played in so far this spring, batting .600 (9 for 15), with two doubles, a .600 OBP and .733 SLG. During that span, he was 4 for 4 in his first spring game on March 4th and 3 for 4, with two runs scored during Sunday’s matchup against the Boston Red Sox at Tradition Field.

The Mets starting outfielders should include Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, Michael Cuddyer and as of now, Nieuwenhuis looks to have a huge advantage on the competition.  If he continues to swing the bat this consistently, come opening day he should be the fourth outfielder on the Mets roster.

But the Mets fans have seen signs of greatness from Nieuwenhuis before, just not something he has been able to maintain over a long season. So even though he is wielding a hot bat in March, the hope is that it carries over to April and beyond.

“It’s early, but I’ll try to build on it,” Nieuwenhuis told ESPN.com.

Nieuwenhuis could be the Mets best option off the bench, just as long as he packs his hot bat and takes it with him to New York.

“He’s just swinging very good,” manager Terry Collins told the media on Sunday. “He came in with a determination to be the fourth outfielder here. He certainly realizes that his importance is to play all over the outfield and to come off that bench in big situations because, as we’ve said before, you look at the eighth and ninth inning pitchers in our division – they’re all right-handed. We’re going to need his bat.”

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