By Jerry Del Priore
The Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League today announced the signing of ex-Brooklyn Cyclone and New York Met Kirk Nieuwenhuis for his fist season in the assocation and 12th of his professional career.
Nieuwenhuis played four of his six seasons in Flushing, and was a member of the Cyclones in 2008 after the Mets selected him in the third round of the that year’s MLB amateur draft out of Azusa Pacific University in California.
Last season, Nieuwenhuis spent the 2018 season with Triple-A Tacoma in the Seattle Mariners organization, totaling four homers, 31 RBI, 39 runs, 17 doubles and 48 walks across 80 contests.
In addition to New York, the outfielder donned the uniforms of the Los Angeles Angels (2015) and Milwaukee Brewers (2016-17). He appeared in 414 MLB games, amassing 31 dingers, 117 RBI, 128 runs, 59 doubles, 20 stolen bases and an impressive .986 fielding percentage.
The California native hit .252 with seven home runs and 28 RBI over 91 tilts during his first season in “The Bigs” with the Mets.
For New York fans, however, Nieuwenhuis’ most memorable moment came on July 12th, 2015, when he crushed three home runs in a single game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field, becoming the 10th player in Mets history to accomplish the feat but the first to do so in a home game.
The 31-year-old’s best MLB season came in 2016 with the Brewers. He appeared in 125 games, going yard thirteen times with 44 RBI 38 runs scored, 18 doubles and 56 walks.
The six-foot-three left-handed hitter clubbed .277 with three home runs and 29 RBI while smacking a .348 OPS with a .396 slugging percentage in 285 at-bats in 74 affairs with Brooklyn in 2008, his first pro baseball campaign.