Welcome to Pittsburgh, Newman

Pirates call-up former first round pick

Jeff Hathhorn
August 16, 2018 - 4:54 pm

93.7 the Fan

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) - “It’s as good as I could imagine, I did well down there and got a call up to the big leagues.  It’s about all you could ask for.”

Shortstop Kevin Newman as he was called up to the majors for the first time Thursday afternoon before the Pirates open a huge series with the Cubs.

“It happened when it needed to happen,” Newman said.  “The Pirates felt that I was ready.  I worked hard and thankfully they selected me and brought me up here.”

"I think he's the most dependable shortstop we could call up," manager Clint Hurdle said.  "From Opening Day until now he's improved every facet of his game.  He hasn't blinked when other people have been called up."

Newman was a Pirates first round pick in 2015 out of the University of Arizona and hitting .302 with 30 doubles and 28 stolen bases this year with AAA Indianapolis

“I was really trying to be where my feet were in Triple A,” Newman said.  “I was not trying to look forward and predict what would happen.  I was trying stay down there and help the team the best that I could.  Just really focus on the task at hand down there and getting better every day for when this day did come.”

Newman has a .758 OPS this year and a .982 fielding percentage.

“I’m going to be ready for whatever I’m used for, whether it’s a pinch-hit, a start, a pinch-run, whatever it is, I will be ready,” Newman said.

Newman said Jordy Mercer has made him feel more comfortable after spending time with him during the pre-season and that has helped.

The 25-year-old old said the first call was to his wife who was screaming on the other end.

“It’s a dream come true, it’s what every player strives for and wants to get to.”