Snippet from community projection post:
Nieuwenhuis moves pretty well for a big guy. That mobility in center field will be crucial to the overall value he can provide the Mets this season, given his platoon split and propensity for strikeouts at the plate.
From May 1st through July 28th (his last MLB game of the season due to a foot injury), Nieuwenhuis hit .223/.287/.337 while striking out 73 times in 226 plate appearances. That's a lot of strikeouts for a guy without big-time power.
Last February, when Juan Lagares was still just a twinkle in Sandy Alderson's eye, Kirk Nieuwenhuis looked like the presumptive starting center fielder. Hence, his spot in the community projections. Things didn't pan out that way, and Nieuwenhuis started just 22 games. So the community projection for his playing time is way off, as is the projection for his performance.
Nieuwenhuis was up and down between the Mets and Triple-A Vegas all season. He spent most of April, June, and July in Flushing, and most of May, August, and September in Vegas. Strikeouts remained a problem at both locations and there wasn't much to like about his season. After he was demoted for Lagares in late April, Nieuwenhuis essentially lost his shot as an everyday player with the big club. Still, he produced a couple memorable moments this season. In May, he made this fine home run-robbing catch for Vegas:
His game-winning three-run home run against the Cubs on June 16th resulted in this raucous Mets celebration:
Note: That celebration elicited the infamous "decline of Western civilization" comment from Bob Costas.
In a suddenly crowded outfield, Nieuwenhuis probably doesn't have much of a future with the Mets. We'll always have that celebration, though.
Check back in February to participate in the 2014 Community Projections.