I received an interesting question from @GWNY on Twitter who asked me:
Why don’t the Mets call up Fred Lewis to play LF?
It’s a great question and one we’ve grappled with a couple of times in our Minor League comment threads this season. The answer as to why Lewis is still languishing in Buffalo is kind of a mystery to me.
One could say they don’t want to add him to the 40-man roster and force another move that might end up costing them another player. But this front office has managed the 40MR like a bull stampeding through a china shop all season long, with reckless abandon. That’s likely not why Fred Lewis isn’t here.
Although Lewis has slowed some, he has put up solid numbers for the Herd this season batting .296 with an on-base of .374 to go with his very impressive .847 OPS. In 356 plate appearances, Lewis has produced 92 hits with 34 of them being of the xtra-base hit variety – including eight home runs.
Used mostly at the top of the order, the left-handed hitting outfielder has scored 58 runs and stolen 18 bases. He is among the top ten in the International League in Runs Scored, Triples, Walks and Stolen Bases.
Before joining the Mets, Lewis, who can play all three outfield positions, played parts of six seasons in the majors and has a career slash of .267/.345/.406 in 1,542 at-bats with 259 runs scored and 57 swipes in that span. He is significantly better against righties.
Those numbers, while not great, certainly compare favorably when put up against Lucas Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis who are now sharing playing time with Lewis in a crowded Buffalo outfield. Heck, even Andres Torres pales in comparison.
Defensively, the 31-year old is just average at the corners and can fill in if necessary in center, but I wouldn’t make a habit of it. He’s certainly an upgrade over what we’ve seen from Lucas Duda and even Jason Bay lately who has taken his slump to the field, but who isn’t?
So why isn’t Fred Lewis here?
I wish I had an answer for you, but one eludes me. Honestly, he should have been called up back in late April and early May when he was tearing up the league and was one of the leading vote-getters in the Triple-A All Star Game.