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Prospect Q&A: Kevin Newman keeps his cool

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Pittsburgh Pirates Photo Day Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Kevin Newman has hit a bump in the road in Altoona, hitting .244/.307/.320 through Tuesday. It’s not the first time the 2015 first-round pick has struggled, and perhaps that’s part of the confidence and steadiness to his approach. He talked about that over the weekend.

Can you take me through your season, what you’ve seen in your second half-season at Double-A?

I struggled at the start. The whole time I’ve been here I’ve felt good swing-wise, had some balls hit right at some people. Never did I doubt my swing because the statistics weren’t there, but thankfully things are starting to fall here. That’s all you can do.

It sounds like you’ve stuck with the same approach, then?

You always tinker here and there, you always make adjustments, but the foundation stayed the same, the approach stayed the same. Baseball’s like a wave. You have your ups, you have your downs. Going through that phase where balls weren’t falling was good for me to learn how to get out of it and learn how to push through adversity like that. That’s what I looked at and took away from it.

So, that sort of makes you a better ballplayer through it all?

It’s something that no player wants to go through. In the end, you look for little things you can take out of it. That’s what I’m going to take out of it.

How has it gone defensively, a little more consistent?

Defense is good. I feel confident out there. I go through my workday and get my work in and prepare myself as best as I can for our pitchers. They work their asses off and get ground balls for us. I want to be as ready as I can be to make every play for them. The defense has been there. I’m just continuing to work hard and progress.

Is there just sort of an adjustment period at every level?

Baseball’s a tough sport, so you’re going to have challenges everywhere you go, and this league and this level is no different than any other league or level. Whatever it is, whether it be defensively, offensively, you’re going to have adjustments that need to be made and adversity that needs to be pushed through. You’ve just got to work on becoming a better player and take what the game gives you.