Back in September, I said, “There’s so much to love about Fred Lewis. Let’s see… Power — check! Speed — check! A name that sounds like an 80′s sitcom character — check! I’ll take Fred Lewis in the center square for the win. Alas, Fred Lewis is about to undergo season-ending surgery on a foot bunion. (The operating podiatrist hopes his patented Toe, Hairy and Curly procedure will one day be as recognized as Tommy John surgery.) I still like Lewis for next year, but this is this year, fool!” And that’s me quoting me! Let’s see why I still like Fred Lewis as a 2009 fantasy sleeper.
Similarly to a wah-wah storyline from a bad sitcom, Fred Lewis was bothered by bunions for most of last year. It’s impossible to know how many bases Fred Lewis would’ve stole if not for the bunions, but I’m gonna guess more than the 21 he did steal. He also missed quite a few games with this chronic foot-to-path disease. It’s hard to say how many home runs he would’ve hit if he didn’t miss all of those games, but, like a foot, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say more than the 9 he did hit. Now that your expectations are soaring, I’m gonna knock them down a bit. With extra at-bats and less luck, Lewis probably won’t hit the .282 he hit last year. Cuz, see, his BABIP was a bit too high, even for a chop and run hitter. Also, he’s already 28 years old, last year (with extra games) is about as much as we can expect from him. I’d put Lewis’s 2009 fantasy projections at about 95/12/50/.270/25. Those are a bit optimistic, but they’re not fall off from some outfielders going much higher in 2009 drafts. Fred Lewis should be good, as long as he’s got these bunions beat — “Get your feet checked. You big dummy!”