Friday, January 29, 2010

Top 15 Pitchers: #12 David Newmann

David Newmann
6'2" 200 lbs DOB: 6/24/1985
Left-Handed Pitcher
Bats: Right | Throws: Left
2009: Charlotte Stone Crabs
Acquired: 2007 Draft, 4th Round, 125th Overall

Virtually forgotten about after being drafted in 2007, David Newmann had to wait all the way until the 2009 season to throw his first professional pitch. Finally healthy, he turned in a very nice season with the Stone Crabs, helping them reach the Florida State League finals.

Newmann's biggest strength is his low-90s fastball with good sink, evidenced by a 1.81 GO/AO and only six home runs surrendered. In 131 innings over 24 starts, he struck out nearly a batter per inning(138 punchouts) while walking a manageable 46. He ended the season as hot as anyone in the system: Over his final seven regular season starts, he pitched 43.2 innings, allowed 27 hits, four earned runs(good for an ERA under 1.00), walked 9, and struck out 45. In the playoffs, he pitched the Crabs into the championship with a 6-inning, 4-hit, 10-strikeout game in the semi-finals.

While he was 24 years old for much of the season, Newmann doesn't have the experience to go along with his age. He started off at San Jacinto Junior College, where he led his team to the 2004 Junior College World Series championship. He transferred to Texas A&M, but didn't pitch in 2005 or 2006 while he was recovering from Tommy John surgery. He had a solid year in 2007, but his statline doesn't reflect how he was somewhat inconsistent.

Newmann signed too late in 2007 to make his pro debut, and in the spring of 2008, his season ended before it began when he suffered a serious knee injury. So it had been a while since he was on the mound in a game, and in April, he pitched like it. He settled in during May and June, allowing just 11 earned runs over eight starts between those two months. Things came apart in July, however. Perhaps owing to the fatigue of not having pitched in a long time, his groundball percentage was the lowest of any month, opponents hit .324 off him, and his strikeout-to-walk rate slipped to 12-to-11 over 24 innings. It proved to be a blip on the radar, because when the calendar flipped to August, Newmann got locked in and stayed that way through the playoffs.

His stuff isn't off the charts, but his sinking fastball along with a decent curveball and change-up shouldn't have any problems playing at higher levels. The key for Newmann is simply to stay on the field and continue to gain experience. While his stuff isn't likely to improve at this point, his control might as he racks up more post-Tommy John innings. In particular, his control against left-handed hitters could use some work. In 2009, he walked 22 lefties in 35.1 innings as opposed to 24 righties in 95.2 innings.

Newmann will open up 2010 in the Montgomery rotation, but if he's able to carry over his late 2009 success, a promotion to Durham isn't out of the question.


  1. Bryan Smith at Fan Graphs was doing a series on sinkerball pitchers in the minors. If Newmann had another 50% ground ball rate, he would certainly fit the bill and come knocking on the Rays door in a couple of years.

  2. I saw the kid pitch against Ft. Myers in the playoffs. WOW... The Rays should of called him up then. As for his age, I dont believe it is a factor. He had an unfortunate knee injury in 08 which forced him to take the year to rehab...a.k.a. further rest of the arm.