When we were told that we were going to roll out another “My Guy” series for this year I immediately knew that I wanted to talk about Mariners LF Kyle Lewis.
Since the day the Mainers drafted Lewis I’ve been excited about him. As he has progressed through the system there were highs and lows (primarily the severe knee injury), but he tantalized fans with his power display at the end of the season last year.
But that’s not the reason I’m picking him as “My Guy” for this season. My main reason for picking Lewis is I believe he is a key figure in this rebuild.
Lewis’ prospect stock has dipped in recent seasons as he has been surpassed by the likes of Julio Rodriguez and Jarred Kelenic on the franchise’s beacon of hope depth chart; however, the Mariners will need someone in their prospect ranks to pop up as somewhat of a surprise and who better than Lewis to be that guy?
While Lewis turning into a solid contributor wouldn’t shock anyone, it would certainly cement him in as a member of the outfield of the future with hopefully Rodriguez and Kelenic.
Prospects are always tricky and while Lewis has tools galore, there are flaws that need to be fixed (too much swing and miss in his game right now). I’ve been in the camp that I think some time in Tacoma this year might be good for him, but it doesn’t sound like that will happen as Lewis will be given every opportunity to win a starting spot from the outset of spring training.
If Lewis plays the majority of the season in Seattle then this season will go a long way in determining just what exactly the organization has in Lewis. While a bad season wouldn’t be a death sentence for Lewis, it could definitely impact the team’s plan moving forward.
If Lewis can outperform Steamer’s projections that the site laid out recently then he’s probably a fixture moving forward. If he struggles then the Mariners are probably on the lookout for other outfielders.
Like has been mentioned multiple times by the front office, this season is about finding out what they have in the younger players and giving them the opportunity they need to show what they can do. Lewis will get that this year and how he responds will be a key storyline for the season.