6. Shervyen Newton, SS
Height: 6’4”, Weight: 180 lbs.
DOB: 4/24/99 (19)
Acquired: IFA, July 2, 2015 (Tilburg, Netherlands)
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-APPY)
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.
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 is quick-twitch fast, reads the ball well off the bat, possesses above-average range, and has a plus arm, skills that translate well at either position. He may eventually have to shift off of shortstop if he fills out and loses some of his mobility and athleticism, but there are currently no such worries, though the 6’4”, 180 lb. Newton certain has a lot of room to grow.
Steve Sypa says:
Newton got fairly low bonus when he was signed during the 2015-2016 international free agent signing period, but his production and baseball maturation since just shows how much of a crapshoot signing sixteen- and seventeen-year-old kids is. It is one thing to be told that Newton has plus raw power, but it was another thing completely to physically see it myself. Honestly, if I hadn’t, I’d be much less excited about him, chalking the numbers up to inflated rookie-level noise. The violence and torque in his swing that creates that power is a thing of beauty. It might ultimately be his Achilles Heel, since his strikeout rate is concerning, but some of those batting practice and foul ball shots were something to see. When a card-carrying socialist and a guy in a MAGA hat both lock eyes and are in complete agreement about something, you know you’re seeing something legit.
Lukas Vlahos says:
Newton had an impressive season in 2018, posting a robust 127 wRC+ at only 19. Under the surface, there were some concerning signs, however. Newton didn’t hit for particularly good power (5 HR, .169 ISO), struck out more than 30% of the time, and was buoyed by a robust .421 BABIP. That dampens my opinion on him as a potential future star, but the scouting reports are positive nevertheless. He’s a solid defender at short, should be plus at third if he grows out of the middle infield, and should eventually grow into more power. There’s certainly potential here, but I need to see more before I really buy in on Newton as another exciting potential-start of an infield prospect.
Kenneth Lavin says:
Signed out of the Netherlands for $50,000 in the 2015 IFA signing period, Shervyen Newton might be the most intriguing prospect in the Mets system. Newton is currently well suited to the shortstop position, but many experts believe that his tall projectable frame will force him off the position at some point. While Newton is relatively polished defensively, given his background, his offensive game is a little more raw. In 266 plates appearances for the Kingsport Mets, Newton hit .280/.406/.449. There’s currently some swing and miss in his game, as Newton struck out in 31.6% of his plate appearances in the Appalachian League in 2018, but he also draws more than his fair share of walks, having walked in 17.3% of his plate appearances. Perhaps the most exciting thing about Newton is his prodigious raw power; he puts on a real show in batting practice. Look for Newton to continue to refine his approach in full season ball in the upcoming season, both in terms of limiting strikeouts and tapping into more of his raw power in games.