It’s been widely reported that Kirk Nieuwenhuis will be strongly considered as a leadoff candidate this season despite a 31% strikeout percentage, a low contact rate and on-base percentage, and a poor batting eye.
Assuming he could improve his on-base and strikeout rates a little, his batting eye still is what it is, and he doesn’t fit the mold of an ideal leadoff man even if it’s only against right-handed pitching.
What’s troubling is that Kirk was at his worst when he worked deeper into counts – I’m talking 3-2 and 3-1 counts.
Are there some positives about Kirk that we don’t see that you can shed some light on, or is this simply a case of not having any better options right now?
I think Kirk will be the first to admit he has some things to work on this Spring. In his case, cutting down on strikeouts, improving on-base percentage; these are all goals, but not solutions. Kirk and a few others are working on a variety of things that will contribute to a lower ...