OF KYLE LEWIS
Well, we’ve made it. The Mariners finally have a legitimate number one prospect on the verge of making his Major League debut. However, Kyle Lewis hasn’t gotten to this point unscathed, suffering a torn ACL in his first season of professional baseball that has ultimately had a negative impact on his production over the last two years.
Lewis probably shouldn’t make his debut in 2019, but all signs seem to be pointing to it happening. Following the injury, Lewis has dealt with lingering knee issues that have held him back from playing on a consistent basis. When he has played, he’s been average at best.
Despite showing flashes of greatness on occasion, Lewis only managed to get on base at a lowly .303 clip with an even more discouraging 26.1 K% for High-A Modesto. When Braden Bishop’s season ended with a fractured forearm, Lewis was called up to Double-A Arkansas to take his place. This felt like a desperation move in order to speed-up Lewis’ progression, as the 23-year-old clearly didn’t earn the promotion with his play at the lower levels.
After the call-up, Lewis continued to struggle but showed some signs of improvement. His K% shot down roughly five points, while his BB% shot up about six points. His average went down to .220, but the OBP was improved to .309. Still, not great numbers, but we’ll take any encouragement we can get from the former Golden Spikes award winner.
Jerry Dipoto mentioned Lewis as one of the top Mariners prospects he expects to see in either late 2019 or early 2020, further adding fuel to the idea that we may see Lewis at some point this year. Given that the Mariners have some question marks regarding their outfield going into the upcoming offseason, it makes sense that Lewis may get his opportunity sooner rather than later, even if he hasn’t necessarily earned it.