We have reached the Top 6 Mariners Prospects. Today we profile the long-time #1 prospect of the organization, Kyle Lewis. 2019 is a crucial year for the slugger and Mariners fans should be watching him carefully.
As always, for a breakdown of our process in selecting the Top 30 Mariners prospects, read the primer by clicking here. If you want a breakdown of our first 22 prospects, you can go to the “minors” tab on the website, or click right here.
In addition, remember that our grades are based on the standard scouting scale. The scale ranges from 20-80, 20 being not MLB quality and 80 being a Hall of Fame tool. We also provide a probability score on a 1-5 scale, based on the likelihood they reach the 75% plateau of their upside. With all that in mind, let’s get started.
6. Kyle Lewis
After spending most of his professional career as the Mariners number 1 prospect, Lewis underwhelming play, along with new additions to the system, have forced him down the ranks and have left serious questions to who he actually is.
Seattle was thrilled to snag Lewis with the 11th pick of the 2016 draft. Coming out of college, Lewis drew comparisons to Adam Jones thanks to his plus power and average or better tools across the board.
Lewis looked like he was going to take the Mariners by storm, crushing the Northwest League the summer of 2016 and was eyeing a promotion to A ball before a freak accident at home plate caused a complete tear of his knee.
Since then, Lewis hasn’t produced in the minors and has spent the better part of 2 seasons trying to get back to 100%. The tools that made him a first-round pick are still there. The plus power is still his best tool. The hit tool has taken a hit, but the footspeed appears to be back. However, the slim odds that he could stick in CF are basically done.
2019 is a huge year for Lewis. He will likely begin the season in AA Arkansas and after getting a pass while recovering from injury the past few years, the Mariners need to see some results this season.
Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has mentioned several times this off-season that he believes Kyle Lewis could make his MLB debut this season. That is quite optimistic, but if he can put together a good season, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Kyle Lewis has one of the highest ceilings of any prospects in the Mariners system but needs to produce. The hope with Lewis is that he can become a .250/.340/.500 bat with solid defense in a corner.
Lewis earns high marks for his work ethic and baseball IQ, so while the past 2 seasons have been frustrating, Lewis can still turn things around.
Scouting Grades- Hit: 45 Power: 60 Run: 50 Field: 50 Arm: 60 Probability: 2/5
With a strong first half, Lewis could easily slot into the Top 5 in our mid-season re-rank regardless of the potential graduations during the 2019 season. Lewis is one of the most important names to watch in the minors this season. His return to a pre-injury form would drastically change the outlook of the farm system.
Lewis is the ultimate wild card and has all the tools to be the best player in the system. If everything goes right for Lewis, his upside is similar to Justin Upton. The addition of that type of player to the organization would be a huge boon, both to the Mariners and Kyle Lewis.