Sodo Mojo’s Top 10 Mariners Prospects: #1 Kyle Lewis
We have reached the end of our Top Prospect series, and the top spot for the Mariners is a surprise to nobody. Kyle Lewis is widely regarded as one of the best prospects in all of baseball, if only his health will finally cooperate.
If the Mariners didn’t have bad luck, they wouldn’t have any at all. The teams consensus top prospect got off to a blazing start in his pro career. Unfortunately, a home plate collision resulted in a torn ACL for Kyle Lewis. The results have been stagnated, as Lewis continues to shake off the ill-effects of the major surgery.
Lewis returned a year after his surgery, and was able to play 49 games in 2017. After initially having success in the AZL, Lewis was promoted to High-A Modesto. The results varied, but Lewis slashed .255/.323/.403 in 149 AB’s, and continued to battle knee issues along the way.
In fact, Lewis will miss all of Spring Training with yet another knee surgery. The scope is to remove loose bodies in his repaired knee. Seattle hopes this is the final surgery for Lewis, who will miss another month as he recovers.
When healthy, it is easy to see why scouts rave about his game. Possessing plus power to all fields, Lewis still has the tools to hit for a high average. He has a sound approach at the plate, with a good understanding of the strike zone.
Lewis has a high leg kick, which causes some drag issues against plus velocity. However, Lewis has the bat speed to make up for the issue, and makes adjustments accordingly.
Prior to the knee injury, Lewis was a potential center fielder, despite his rather average foot speed. Because of this, most scouts envisioned him move to right field, where his arm will easily play. Lewis uses excellent routes and good instincts to make up for his average speed, and should be a good defender capable of playing all 3 spots.
Scouting Grades (20-80)- Hit:55 Power:60 Run:50 Field:55 Arm: 60 Overall: 55 OFP(Overall Future Potential): 60-65
Lewis is well-regarded as a “baseball junky” and scouts rave about his work ethic and aptitude. These traits should help Lewis make up for lost time. If he can avoid further serious injury, Lewis still has a reasonable time-table to the big leagues.
He will likely start the year back in Modesto, and could find his way up to AA Arkansas if he can stay healthy and produce. Mariners fans could see Lewis in Seattle by 2020, at the age of 24.
Rarely does a player comp to his favorite player, but in this case, Lewis appears to have the same profile as Adam Jones. Jones, of course, was a Mariner before he was dealt to Baltimore in the infamous Erik Bedard trade.
Next: Mariners #2 Prospect: Evan White
Lewis could be the Mariners second chance at Jones. He just needs some time, and some health. If he gets both, the Mariners have a legitimate ball player in Lewis, and one who will call Seattle home for years to come.