New Diamondbacks OF Kyle Lewis: Willing to do whatever to help
Two years removed from winning American League Rookie of the Year, outfielder Kyle Lewis is excited to begin a new chapter with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
When he heard he’d been traded by the Seattle Mariners on Nov. 17, Lewis was already house-shopping in Arizona for offseason training.
“[My family and I] were pretty excited about it,” Lewis told reporters in his introductory Zoom Friday. “It was kind of a surreal moment because it’s like, ‘Dang, now I can stay in the house all year.’ So it was cool, really cool.”
The hardest part about being traded was the shaking up of the routine. For seven years, the only professional organization Lewis knew was the Mariners.
In joining the D-backs, he needed to rebuild his contacts.
“[The Diamondbacks] did a great job reaching out early,” Lewis said. “That really eased it right there and helped me feel comfortable right away.”
It’s been a rollercoaster two seasons for Lewis, who battled knee injuries and played only 54 games. Since winning Rookie of the Year in the 60-game 2020 season, he’s slashed .215/.301/.366 with eight home runs and 16 runs batted in.
However, two months before pitchers and catchers report, the 27-year-old feels good physically and is willing to do whatever it takes to help.
“I know I have some talent,” Lewis said. “I know I’ve got some ability.
“I’ve got power, a good eye, plate discipline … bringing what I believe to be an advanced approach at the plate. Defensively, being able to contribute, being smart, being efficient.”
Lewis said the team hasn’t specified what his exact role will be in 2023. However, he’s got experience at all three outfield positions as well as designated hitter.
Some players struggle with the role of DH but Lewis said you learn the routines over time.
“Once you get that routine down, it’s no different [than playing the field],” Lewis said. “You’ve just got to find the timing of it and then, once you get that flow, it’s very similar. You’re just doing things down in the tunnel rather than running around on the field.”
The 27-year-old left Seattle at a time the franchise appears on the precipice of being an elite team in the American League. However, he sees a lot of similarities to the situation with the D-backs.
“We’re in a similar spot [to the Mariners] and got the talent to do it,” Lewis said. “I don’t see why this team can’t make the playoffs. I feel like this team is definitely in a position to compete and put together a season that is memorable.”