Kyle Lewis was drafted by the Mariners in the first round in June, he received the Golden Spikes Award at the end of last month and batted .364 in his last 20 games with Class A Short Season Everett.
But on Wednesday, the first professional season for this year's 11th overall pick came to an untimely end due to a tear in his right ACL and a torn medial and lateral meniscus he suffered in a home-plate collision in Tuesday's game. The organization reported the news Wednesday night.
Lewis hit .395 with 20 homers for Mercer University and garnered numerous awards. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound outfielder was named to six different All-America teams and earned Southern Conference Player of the Year honors for the second year in a row. He also received a nod on the ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Team. He became the first winner to hail from Mercer when he nabbed the 2016 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award at the end of June.
He started the season with just seven hits in his first 40 Minor League at-bats, then went 28-for-77 in his last 20 games to raise his average to .299. He topped the Northwest League with a .530 slugging percentage, 26 RBIs, 26 runs scored and 62 total bases while sharing the circuit lead in triples (five) with Boise's Garrett Hampson.
Those numbers included a .343/.405/.671 slash line with three homers, 17 RBIs, 17 runs scored and two stolen bases in 18 July games. Lewis finished a double shy of the cycle July 6 and delivered a two-run walk-off single in Felix Hernandez's rehab start July 10 on his way to Player of the Week honors.
"It's a heartbreaking injury for a guy that just signed and was cresting," Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto told MLB.com. "He was having the year of his life, winner of the Golden Spikes. He was off to a tremendous start, north of a .900 OPS for Everett and giving us every reason to believe he was exactly the player we thought when we drafted him."