Thursday, May 1, 2008

"Human Highlight Film"

"Fred Lewis? The guy's a human highlight film!" --Dr. Jonathan C. Parsons, 2007

Continuing our series on the New Young Bucks, Mr. Fred Lewis has found himself in the middle of all things good and bad about the 2008 Giants. Our Little Engine That Could has been chugging along with an impressive .337/.419/.533 line over 29 games. The 300-400-500 (avg-oba-slg) plateau is the Holy Grail for a hitter. I think it is safe to say Fred is not going to slug .500 for a season, but I think he has shown a consistent ability to get on base. He has a patient, cerebral approach at the plate that will pay off in the long run, as long as the brass doesn't push him to "be more aggressive." Right now he leads the team in walks--a good thing for a leadoff hitter. I think his stroke will improve and I expect to see him develop into a solid all-field line drive hitter. The knock on Lewis is his age--he's played almost 600 games in the minors, and got tagged as an AAAA type. If you look at the stats, his strikeouts and lack of power have been his Achilles heel, but you can't complain about the .377 OBA. As we have seen, Fred has a raw, unpolished look on the bases, despite his speed. He has shown flashes of brilliance in the outfield alongside some real boners. I like to think those are just rookie lapses, and that his mental game in the field and on the basepaths will improve as well.

Fred is a former Southern University Jaguar. This Baton Rouge Historically Black University also produced the Brewers Rickie Weeks. The most famous Jaguar in MLB history is a fellow who was known for defensive and baserunning excellence, as well as a lot of strikeouts but little power from the leadoff spot. I'm talking about Hall of Famer Louis Clark Brock. I don't expect Fred to get 3,000 hits or 900 SBs, but I think he can be a solid player. If we can get some power hitters in the lineup, he could be a real asset at the top.

4 comments:

Chris said...

!BOLD PREDICTION!

Fred Lewis is better than Dave Roberts.

/end bold prediction

Anonymous said...

Brother Bob:
re: !BOLD PREDICTION!

!DUH!
I'm tempted to say Lewis is our best player, except maybe Rowand is. You gotta love what both of these guys have done so far.
Mixed reviews on Sanchez Wednesday. He couldn't follow up his career-best start with another gem, but he didn't suck either. Our sterling bullpen took over, and Mare-KEEN was awarded the W when Castillo had his biggest moment of the year with his homer.
So Misch gets a start Friday, and we're going with a 4-man rotation for a while, thanks to a few off days. Should be interesting.
My bold prediction du jour is that Cain is going to go on a studly streak for a month and remind us why he's worthy of having a blog site named for him.

JC Parsons said...

FreddieLew definitely has the two best defensive highlights so far: yesterday's great diving catch and the spectacular catch & throw out at the plate to preserve a victory from a couple weeks ago.

It would seem that we all agree that Fred is our April player of the month, what about pitcher? You probably figure I'll pick Tim ( a good choice) but since he is just doing what I expected, I'm going with...Tyler Walker! ( I was so ready to type Mare-keen, but it changed at the last second!) Yesterday was the closest to shaky that Tyler has been all year. He has six times more strikeouts than walks! I bet he ends up among the league leaders in holds. The whole bullpen deserves credit for making us almost decent.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Let's not forget Fred's SPLASH HIT! Let's see Dave Fookin' Roberts pull that off, eh? (To be fair, Roberts is an excellent baserunner. Fred could use some tutoring there.) But Chris' point is important: what to do with Roberts? If Freddie Lew is still kicking butt when Roberts returns, I hope we have the sense to trade him to a contender for some youngsters.

Pitcher of the Month? The Linkster, obviously. Walker has stepped up, and Wilson is showing some grit and fortitude to go along with his 95 mph stuff. The 'pen has come through, as JCP points out.

Rowand has played about where the numbers said he would. Above average hitter, gets hurt a lot. He's like Edgardo Alfonzo or Ray Durham. Accomplished major leaguers, no doubt, but highly over-valued and over-paid by our team. Rowand is a good ballplayer, but, like Randy Winn, is not a 3-4-5 cornerstone. He'd be a great complementary fit on a strong team (like Philly, with Utley & Howard & Rollins).

I agree with Bob's bold prediction: M.C. is going to break out when the weather warms up. He's an Alabama boy, after all.