Who is the #2 prospect behind Matt Cain?
    Merkin Valdez
    Marcus Sanders
    Eddy Martinez-Esteve
    Nate Scheirholtz
    Travis Ishikawa
    Kevin Frandsen
    Free polls from Pollhost.com

AVG......Brian Horowitz (.349)
2B.......Eddy Martinez-Esteve (44)
3B.......Clay Timpner (12)
HR.......Todd Linden (30)
RBI......Mike Cervenak (103) SB.......Marcus Sanders (57)
OBP......Todd Linden (.437)
SLG......Todd linden (.682)
ERA......Dave McKae (2.42)
W........Broshuis/Floyd/Salankey (12)
K........Matt Cain (176)
SV.......Bateman/Wilson (21)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Lewis Ready to Break Out?

A pessimistic look at Fred Lewis would be to say, while he has the tools, his skills fall short. Lewis attempted to change his approach in 2005. He wanted to drive the ball with more authority after being told last spring by Felipe Alou that big leaguers get paid to hit the ball out of the ballpark. Some detractors even suggested Lewis' early minor league success getting on base was by accident.

For an optimistic fan, Lewis still has upside and at 25 has time to realize it, finishing the 2005 season strong in a tough league for hitters. It looks as if the organization's 5th rated prospect (as ranked by Dr. B) will get all the time he needs to figure things out. He'll try again in 2006, most likely with the triple-A Fresno Grizzlies.

Rich draper finds what the Giants and Lewis himself have to say at sfgiants.com...

"He got off to one of the worst starts of any of our Minor League guys," said Mariano. "Dick Tidrow [VP of player personnel] had me go there to work with him. We made some adjustments with his hands he had gotten away from."

The tweaking -- Lewis moved his hands farther and higher from his body -- didn't take long, and in the warm weather the left-hander began hammering the ball.

"He caught fire and hit some balls harder than I've seen in 25 years," said Mariano. "He was playing like a big leaguer for 16 straight days and got his confidence going."

Lewis raised his average 47 points over the final months, finishing with a respectable .273 mark and a career-high 47 RBIs.

This spring, Freddie has been looking strong and drawing raves from Giants observers. He admits he's a different player from a few years ago.

"I feel, when I first got here, I wasn't ready at this level," said Lewis, a native of Hattiesburg, Miss., in his third San Francisco camp. "I know in my heart I'm ready to play here, but it's not up to me. I haven't faced big-league pitching that much, but I'm looking to get my chance, get my feet wet, and show them what I've got."

Now on the Giants' 40-man roster, Lewis led his teams in runs and stolen bases each of his first three pro years and was second for Norwich in 2005.

"I feel I've learned the game more," Lewis said, "and I'm still learning about hitting and running, knowing when to move the runner over, which base to throw to from the outfield.

"Right now, I'm on an all-time high. There's no pressure here and I'm more relaxed than ever. I was afraid of some guys at first, but I'm adjusting."

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