New York Mets News

Kirk Nieuwenhuis: Mets Season in Review

By Danny Abriano
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We continue our 2014 Mets Season in Review series with outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

Nieuwenhuis, 27, spent the majority of the 2014 season with Triple-A Las Vegas, but took advantage of the at-bats he did get at the big league level.

How he fared in 2014:

Although he had only 131 plate appearances in 61 games, Nieuwenhuis was fairly impressive, posting a triple slash of .259/.346/.482.

Nieuwenhuis also impressed on the defensive side of things, filling in at times for the injured Juan Lagares in center field and getting time in both corner outfield spots as well.

Areas to improve upon:

Strikeouts.

As he has during each taste of the majors he’s had over the last three seasons, Nieuwenhuis whiffed too much. He posted a strikeout rate of 30 %, up from the 24.5 % rate he posted this season in Triple-A.

For someone who only hit three home runs (roughly one for every 40 at-bats), a strikeout rate at or near 30 % is way too high.

Projected Role in 2015:

Nieuwenhuis is out of options, which means the Mets will have to expose him to waivers in order to send him to Triple-A – and it’s hard to see Nieuwenhuis clearing waivers.

He will almost certainly not be a starting player for the Mets and he’ll have competition for a bench spot with fellow outfielder Matt den Dekker, but it would be a safe bet to pencil Nieuwenhuis in as a fourth outfielder for the Mets in 2015 – at least to start the season.

Contract Status and Trade Rumors:

Nieuwenhuis is set to make just above the league minimum in 2015. While he impressed in limited duty in 2014, he won’t have much value on the trade market. Expect him to stay put.

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