Kevin Newman has been raking at Double-A Altoona ever since the calendar flipped from May to June. Now he'll get a chance to test his skills at the Minor Leagues' highest level.
The Pirates promoted their third-ranked prospect to Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday night. Newman, MLB.com's No. 48 overall prospect, was hitting .259/.310/.359 at the time of his promotion, a fact that apparently was confirmed by his fiancee, Shayne Austin, on Instagram.
After being hit in the head by a fastball on May 10 and missing one game, Newman returned and batted .162/.205/.221 in 16 games through May 31 to drop his overall batting line to .225/.287/.321.
The 23-year-old started June with a bang, recording multi-hit games in three of his first four contests, including a three-double performance on July 4 at Bowie. He batted .299/.337/.413 since June 1 to show the Pirates he was over the injury and ready for a new challenge.
Not only has Newman displayed his plus hit tool, he's been solid with the glove. The University of Arizona product had more defensive chances than all but three shortstops in the Eastern League and leads the 17 players at the position with a .980 fielding percentage, convincing scouts of his ability to stick at short and not be moved to second base.
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Replacing Newman on the Curve roster is Pirates No. 5 prospect Cole Tucker, who was batting .285/.364/.426 with 25 extra base hits, including four homers, and a Florida State League-leading 36 stolen bases for Class A Advanced Bradenton. He enjoyed a healthy offseason for the first time in his career, which has been a big part of his success.