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The 10 best Mets minor league hitters I saw this year: 5, Shervyen Newton

Counting down the best minor league hitters I saw in 2018.

Shervyen Newton
Steve Sypa

Disclaimer: This is a ranking of the best players that I saw during the 2018 season. I saw a wide cross-section of teams in 2018, seeing the Kingsport Mets, Brooklyn Cyclones, Columbia Fireflies, and Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but I did not see the GCL Mets, St. Lucie Mets, or Las Vegas 51s, nor did I attend every single game of the teams that I did see. As such, this is not a comprehensive Mets prospect list. If a player is not on the list, I either did not see him, or considered the listed ten players better.

Name: Shervyen Newton

Team: Kingsport Mets

Position: SS

Born: 4/24/99 (19)

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 180 lbs.

Bats/Throws: S/R

Acquired: IFA, July 2, 2015 (Tilburg, Netherlands)

2018 Season: 56 G, 207 AB, .280/.408/.449, 58 H, 16 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 46 BB, 84 K, 4/4 SB, .421 BABIP (Rookie)

Date(s) Seen: August 16 @ Pulaski (0-4, BB, 4 K)

The Man

The Mets handed out seven-figure deals to top prospect Andres Gimenez and Guerrero-clan member Gregory Guerrero, eating into most of the money that had available, but that does not mean that the players that they signed for lesser bonuses were bad. The largest bonus they gave after signing Gimenez and Guerrero was $50,000, given to Shervyen Newton, a 16-year-old shortstop from Curaçao, by way of Tilburg, Netherlands. Newton wasn’t exactly impressive in his first year of organized ball, hitting .169/.347/.229 in 35 games in the DSL in 2016, but he looked much better in his second year there, where he hit .311/.433/.444 in 66 games. He made his stateside debut in 2018, getting promoted to the Kingsport Mets, and the young shortstop more than held his own, hitting .280/.408/.449 in 56 Appalachian League games.

The Hitter

Shervyen Newton
Steve Sypa

At the plate, Newton stands tall, far in the back of the box. He has impressive bat speed, swinging with a lofty bat path. It gets a bit long when he’s trying to hit for power, but the amount of raw power that he generates from the torque created by that long, violent swing- especially when he’s trying to pull the ball- is impressive. It is easily plus power currently, and with a thin 6’4”, 180 lb. frame, it is not hard to imagine Newton filling in more and adding even more. He has shown the ability to recognize spin, but often gets crossed up, unable to adjust and stay back, resulting in weak opposite field pop ups and fouls. A switch hitter, Newton is significantly better when swinging from the left side, rather than the right.

In the field, he has spent the majority of his career playing shortstop, but has experience playing third base as well. He has excellent instincts, above-average range, and a plus arm. He may eventually have to shift off the position if he fills in and loses some of his athleticism, but there are currently no such worries.

Looking To 2019

While Newton is an exceptional talent and probably could hold his own if put on an aggressive developmental track, I feel that the organization should take it slow with him, assigning him to Brooklyn instead of Columbia. One of his bigger weaknesses are breaking balls, and the New York-Penn League has a preponderance of low-to-mid-tier college pitchers, giving Newton plenty of time to work on recognizing and responding to such pitches.

The Countdown

5. Shervyen Newton

6. Luis Santana

7. Matt Winaker

8. Ross Adolph

9. Zach Rheams

10. Juan Uriarte