Kirk Robert Nieuwenhuis was born on August 7th, 1987 in Santa Monica California. The six foot three outfielder played three seasons at Azusa University where he set school records in runs scored (190) & triples (12). He led his Cougars team to back to back NAIA World Series titles there as well. He was drafted out of Azusa by the New York Mets in the third round of the 2008 draft.
He began his career with the A ball Brooklyn Cyclones where hit three HRs & drove in 29 runs while batting .277 in 74 games. In 2009 he was at A ball St. Lucie hitting .274 before getting pushed up to AA Binghamton. In 2010 he only hit .225 but hit 16 HRs & drove in 60 Runs at Binghamton, getting promoted to AAA Buffalo late in the year. In 2011 he hit .298 at Buffalo with an excellent .403 on base % along with 6 HRs 14 RBIs & 17 doubles but was shut down in the second half of the year with a torn labrum.
In 2012 he got called up to the Mets squad after just one game to replace the injured Andres Torres. He made his MLB debut in the second game of the season getting two hits in the Mets 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves. On April 9th he hit a two run HR off Washington's Edwin Jackson in a game the Mets would win on a Daniel Murphy walk off RBI single. He went on a seven game hit streak & ended April batting .325 with seven multi hit games.
On April 26th he had a bottom of the 9th inning walk off single off the Marlins Heath Bell to give the Mets a dramatic 3-2 win. Things went great for Nieuwenhuis as a new member of a surprising 2012 Mets team that was playing well.
The long haired California surfer looking kid, became a quick fan favorite & earned the nick name Captain Kirk.
Throughout May he kept his average up at .294 & played a fine defensive outfield as well. On June 3rd he had three hits, including a two run HR against the St. Louis Cardinals in the Mets 6-1 victory & four game series sweep at Citi Field.
On June 14th in an inter league game at Tampa, Kirk hit two HRs while driving in three runs in the 9-6 New York win. The next day as the Mets returned home, he hit another HR a solo shot in a 7-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
Nieuwenhuis went into July batting .275 with 7 HRs & 27 RBIs. He was striking out often enough to put him in the NL's top ten. In the outfield he made four errors while posting a .975 fielding % through mid July.
He is a hard player who takes the game serious enough to show a promising future.