Baseball Diamond News

Monday, May 16, 2005

Prospect Report III: Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis was the 40th pick overall by the Atlanta Braves in the June 2001 draft. In his 3 years in the Atlanta Braves system, Lewis underachieved with the only thing that he did was steal bases and even that was under 80% successful. He was traded to the Cubs last off-season along with Andy Pratt for Juan Cruz and Steve Smyth. At the time of the trade Pratt was the more valuable of the 2 and some just considered Lewis a throw in with not much hope of making Cubs in the future. Well Pratt flopped and Lewis excelled enough to be considered the Cubs 12th best prospect by Baseball America. In his second year in AA (first with the Cubs) Lewis finally showed the hitting ability he showed at Georgia Tech. In 99 games, Lewis batted .327.391/.532 with West Tennessee and then was called up to Iowa. Lewis played 31 games at Iowa and batted .239/.274/.402 before he broke his ankle sliding into 2nd base. His major problem all season offensively is that he struck out too much, in both AA and AAA combined he drew 41 walks while striking out 115 times.
This season though his star has dimmed again. Lewis is in Iowa (AAA) and in 112 pa's is batting .205/.294/.229 with 10 walks and 23 strikeouts. He is also not stealing as much, but that is probably a result of his recovering speed from his broken ankle. If Lewis does not turn it around soon, he can expect his future with the Cubs to end very soon as they have a clone of him Mike Fontenot who is actually now on the Cubs bench.


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