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Pirates draft pick Kevin Newman: 'I can't wait to get out there'

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Here are some quick notes from top Pirates draft choice Kevin Newman's press conference earlier this evening.

-P- It doesn't sound like signability will be any kind of issue for Newman, who's a college junior. "I'm ready," he says. "Leading up to this, I've been preparing to get going and get out of here and go play somewhere. ... I can't wait to get out there and put on a uniform and go play."

-P- Newman says he wasn't surprised the Pirates picked him. "The Pirates showed a lot of interest in me, probably, if not the most, second most of any team. I met with a lot of their personnel and front office people." Newman didn't say who he thought the most interested team was. I'm not sure any mock draft connected Newman to the Pirates, but it appears they've been keen on him for some time.

-P- Reports on Newman have suggested he might be able to stay at shortstop, but another possibility is that his arm and range could force him to a different position, possibly second base. Newman says he hasn't played anywhere but shortstop since Little League and expressed confidence that he could get to the big leagues as a shortstop, but he also expressed willingness to play elsewhere if that's what gets him to the big leagues.

-P- At Arizona, Newman hit for great batting average but had very little power. "I don't try to hit home runs," says Newman, who describes himself as a gap-to-gap hitter who tries to "make his outs on the ground," run out hits, and grab extra bases by stealing second. "I'm going to stick to my same approach until the organization wants me to change," he says.

-P- Newman, a native of the San Diego area, says he grew up rooting for the Padres, but that Derek Jeter is the player he admired most.