Thanks to his sustained health, Kyle Lewis is getting the most consistent playing time of his career, and lately, he's taking advantage.The Mariners' No. 7 prospect has been named the Texas League Offensive Player of the Week after going 11-for-21 (.524) with two doubles, seven runs scored and seven walks
Thanks to his sustained health, Kyle Lewis is getting the most consistent playing time of his career, and lately, he's taking advantage.
The Mariners' No. 7 prospect has been named the Texas League Offensive Player of the Week after going 11-for-21 (.524) with two doubles, seven runs scored and seven walks over six games for Double-A Arkansas between June 17-23. This is his first Player of the Week award since he took Northwest League honors with Class A Short Season Everett from July 4-10, 2016.
The 23-year-old outfielder reached base in all six games, picking up multiple hits in four of those contests. His standout performance of the week came Wednesday in a 7-3 win at Corpus Christi, when he reached in all five of his plate appearances on three singles and two walks. He tied that season high with three more hits Sunday, going 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and an RBI in a 5-1 victory at Midland.
• View the Pitchers of the Week winners »
Lewis led all Double-A hitters over the last week with seven walks and a .643 on-base percentage. His 11 hits were tied with fellow Texas Leaguers Luis Barrera (Midland) and Ivan Castillo (Amarillo) for most at the Minors' second-highest level, while his .524 average and 1.262 OPS were both tops in his specific circuit.
After entering the week with a .241/.337/.366 line, Lewis pushed that up to .265/.367/.388 through 66 games in his second season with the Travelers. That average is at its highest since April 8, Lewis' fifth game of the season.
The right-handed slugger's Minor League career has been marred by knee injuries since Seattle took him with the 11th overall pick out of Mercer in 2016, including a torn ACL suffered in a home-plate collision shortly after being drafted. He's yet to play more than 86 games in a Minor League season and is repeating Double-A after hitting .220/.309/.371 with four homers in 37 games with Arkansas in 2018. But now that he's seeing consistent action, having played in 66 of the Travelers' 74 games in 2019, he's taking off. Lewis' 111 wRC+ and 13.8 percent walk rate are each career highs with a full-season affiliate.
The next tool to emerge could be his power; the slugger has only four homers this season, and only two of his 11 hits last week went for extra bases. If that can grow in a way similar to the rest of Lewis' offensive game of late, the Georgia native could gain some momentum in a rapidly improving Mariners system. Buoyed by trades and first-half breakouts, Seattle boasts six Top-100 prospects, third-most in the game behind only San Diego (nine) and Tampa Bay (eight).
Below is the complete list of Minor League Offensive Players of the Week for June 17-23. (The Southern League has not named Players of the Week on the account of its short week.)
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.