The New York Mets may have traded away one of their top prospects from Low-A Columbia, but they still have a lot of talent down in South Carolina. The Fireflies have been a hotbed for the Mets’ best prospects of late, and one of the more interesting players down there has been infielder Shervyen Newton. Newton, who is just 20 years old, is the focus of this week’s edition of Minor League Mondays.
The Mets signed Newton as an international free agent, and he turned heads in 2017, hitting .311 in the Dominican Summer League. Newton came stateside last season, where he hit .280 with five homers, 41 RBI’s, and an .857 OPS in 56 games for Low-A Kingsport. The Mets thought so highly of Newton they had him bypass Brooklyn and go directly to full season ball with Columbia this year, and for a while it looked like the level was a bit much for him.
Newton was bad in April, hitting just .136 over the first month of the season, but he has rebounded nicely since. That batting average has climbed all the way to .214, largely on the strength of strong months in May and July. Newton has set a career high with six home runs and has 22 RBI’s despite not producing much in April or June, so it is encouraging to see him make adjustments as the league has progressed.
MLB.com’s prospect rankings currently have Newton rated as the eighth best prospect in the Mets’ farm system. There is still a lot of projection potential with Newton, who is 6-4 and still growing into his frame, which could lead to massive power potential. Newton also has good instincts as a defender and could stick at shortstop, but the Mets are likely to explore shifting him to another position given the amount of options they have at that spot.
The Mets won’t rush Newton, who likely needs to finish this year strong to avoid repeating Columbia in 2020. Newton appears to be trending in the right direction, hitting .275 for the month of July, so perhaps he will carry that positive momentum forward through the end of the season. With a lot of prospects gone in trades, the Mets need youngsters to develop to give their farm system the depth it needs to sustain the franchise long term, so how players like Newton grow is very important to monitor going forward.