Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Dodgers Third Pick of 2019 Draft - 78th Overall - Jimmy Lewis

With the Dodgers third pick of Day 1 (and the final pick of the day) they chose prep righty Jimmy Lewis from Lake Travis High School (Austin, Texas). He was the 78th overall pick -- a second round compensation pick for losing Yasmani Grandal to free agency. Lewis a 6'6", 18-years old and has a lively arm. Per Cary Osborne at Dodger Insider:
“He developed into one of our favorite right-hand high school pitchers,” Gasparino said. “He’s 6–6, 200 pounds. It’s lean, it’s lanky. We feel like he took a huge jump in coordination and his ability to repeat his delivery. He has two plus pitches, 91–95. He locates down in the zone. The curveball is plus. We think he can really spin it, command it and execute it well. We love the kid’s makeup, work ethic. His dad (Jim) played in the minor leagues up to Triple-A. We love the family. It’s a nice, tight-knit group who has really raised a good kid who we think really mirrors the culture we have here.”
From what I understand, everything about this kid says starter. He's got the size, a fastball already in the mid-90's and a lineage that screams ballplayer. Always Compete at LA Dodger Talk likens him to current Dodger prospect Dustin Mays - also a tall drink of water from Texas - and I hope he's right. Per Fangraphs:
Lewis is a classic projection case a 6'6/200 with a 90-92 mph fatball that touches 93 and features plus life, an above average slurve and a rarely used changeup that's at least average. In a loaded Texas prep righty class, Lewis is now seen near the top despite the least present stuff of the group because he has clear starter traits and projection.
BTW, Jimmy does have a twitter account, but it is currently account protected: @Jameslewis161. MLB Pipeline ranks him as their 64th best prospect.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50 
(Father's card, '91 Classic)
Lake Travis High (Austin, Texas) not only has one of the best offensive players in the 2019 prep class in third baseman Brett Baty, but also one of the more projectable arms in Lewis. His father Jim, also a right-hander, went in the second round of the 1991 Draft to the Astros before topping out in Triple-A, and Jimmy could go in the same range. He also offers intriguing hitting ability and some power potential, but teams are scouting him exclusively as a pitcher. 
Lewis still has plenty of room to add strength to his 6-foot-6 frame and he already can reach 95 mph with his fastball and carry low-90s velocity deep into games. He uses his size and a high-three-quarters arm slot to deliver his pitches on a steep downhill plane. Those attributes also help him stay on top of an upper-70s curveball with good depth than can become a plus pitch once it's more consistent. 
Lewis also demonstrates some feel for a changeup but will have to use it more often against more advanced hitters. He has a fairly simple delivery for such a tall pitcher, and his strength and athleticism bode well for his control and durability. He's part of a banner Louisiana State recruiting class but becoming less likely to make it to Baton Rouge.
Below are several articles about Kody that I thought worth checking out:
  • Video: MLB.com - Jimmy Lewis can find consistent fastball velocity in the 90s and delivers the ball on a downhill plane with a developing curveball (video link).
  • Video: MLB.com - The Dodgers select right-handed pitcher Jimmy Lewis with the 78th pick in the 2019 Draft (video link).
  • Per Adam J. Morris at Lone Star Ball -- "2019 Texas Rangers draft preview: Jimmy Lewis."
In celebration of Jimmy's selection by the Dodgers I made the above two fantasy custom Baseball cards of him.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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