How will Kyle Lewis fit in Arizona?

First look at Kyle Lewis as a Diamondback. Photo Credit:

The Diamondbacks have one of the youngest outfields in Major League Baseball. All eight outfielders on their 40-man roster are under the age of 30. This means there will be a lot of competition for playing time between these young guys. One of the more exciting names this spring will be Kyle Lewis. Lewis, 27, was acquired from the Seattle Mariners for Cooper Hummel on November 17, 2022. The former AL rookie of the year had so much promise at one time. He was a first-round pick in 2016 and even received an MVP vote in his ROY season. Talent has never been the issue for Lewis; he needs to stay on the field. Injuries have plagued Lewis, as he’s only played 54 MLB games combined over the last two seasons. The only time Lewis was healthy for a complete season was during the shortened 60-game season in 2020, when he appeared in 58 games. In 2022 Lewis struggled to stay in the Mariners’ lineup even when he was healthy. He slashed .146 in the 18 games he played with Seattle and spent most of the time he was healthy in AAA with the Tacoma Rainiers. Lewis is due for a bounce-back season, but can he stay on the field and contribute to the Dbacks this season?

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Lewis might have some trouble getting playing time with the likes of Corbin Carroll, Jake McCarthy, Alek Thomas, and the newly acquired Lourdes Gurriel Jr. However, Lewis is versatile, having experience at all three outfield positions and as a DH. The most important thing Lewis brings to the Dbacks’ outfield is a right-handed bat. Carroll, McCarthy, and Thomas are all left-handed hitters, with Gurriel, the only other righty, seeming likely to get a lot of time at DH. Another depth outfielder, Pavin Smith, is also a lefty. This means Lewis should get a lot of playing time in the field against lefty pitchers and can provide pop from the right side of the plate. The only issue with playing Lewis on the field is his injury history. He has had three surgeries on his right knee since 2021. These issues forced him into mostly a DH role last year. He played 60 games between the majors and AAA last season but only started 12 of those in the field. Lewis is reportedly healthy coming into spring training this year, but the threat of his past knee problems is always a concern. This might cause the Dbacks to be cautious and use him at DH more, especially at the beginning of the season. But if Lewis can regain his rookie-year form and stay healthy, he will get playing time. He can also be an X-factor for the Diamondbacks off the bench. His bat can be crucial in pinch-hit situations and provides depth for this young outfield. Diamondbacks fans should be excited for Lewis as he can be one of the most exciting players to watch on the field.

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