Top Pirates prospect Kevin Newman has suffered an orbital fracture, John Dreker writes. The injury occurred when he was hit by a pitch in a game last night.
This must be annoying for the Pirates, in that they've had a mini-epidemic of eye injuries this year. At the big-league level, Ryan Vogelsong suffered one after getting hit last week. In the minors, another top prospect, Austin Meadows, suffered an orbital fracture in Spring Training.
There's no immediate word on Newman's timetable, and Dreker writes that we might know more once Newman is evaluated in Pittsburgh. But news of Meadows' injury surfaced March 9, and he made his 2016 debut on April 25. A similar timetable would put Newman on track to return in mid- to late July.
Newman was in the midst of a strong season with Bradenton, batting .346/.414/.444 in 153 at-bats there. ESPN's Keith Law recently rated him the No. 19 prospect in all of baseball. My guess is that most other analysts would currently rate Newman somewhere from 50 to 100, but there's little doubt he's improved his stock this season.