Mariners Hitters I’m Most Excited About After 2021 Season

Derek Richwine
May 28, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Kyle Lewis (1) bumps forearms with left fielder Jarred Kelenic (10) after hitting a two-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the third inning at T-Mobile Park. Kelenic also scored a run on the hit. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
May 28, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Kyle Lewis (1) bumps forearms with left fielder Jarred Kelenic (10) after hitting a two-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the third inning at T-Mobile Park. Kelenic also scored a run on the hit. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mariners Kyle Lewis flashes grin
Seattle Mariners center fielder Kyle Lewis stands in the dugout during the second inning against the Houston Astros. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

Kyle Lewis comes in at #2 for me partially because I’m excited to see what the outfield will look like with him healthy, and partially because Kyle Lewis just makes baseball look fun. He brings the kind of energy to the outfield that JP brings to the infield.

What I’m most curious to find out is whether his body can hold up for a full season. He had a major knee injury coming out of college and dealt with a bone bruise on the knee all of last year. When healthy, he’s obviously a huge boost to the offense, providing another great right-handed power bat to the middle of the lineup. But “when” is the big question, as he has missed more games than he has played since the Mariners drafted him in 2016.

The biggest question for me is whether Lewis will be available to play 120-150 games in center field each year. His track record does little to induce confidence that he will, but the spark he provides when he is healthy is enough to keep his window of opportunity open longer than it would be for others.

It could be a slow start as he attempts to shake the rust off after another injury-plagued 2021 season, but if he can come close to replicating what he gave us in the 60-game sample in 2020 over the course of a full season, it will paint a much clearer picture of what the outfield will look like for years to come.

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