The Colorado Rockies have signed AJ Lewis to its minor league system. Lewis is the fourth undrafted free agent the team signed since the draft and the second catcher. The news went under the radar but his coach at Eastern Kentucky University congratulated Lewis on the signing late last week.
I am so proud of @ajaylewis to sign a professional contract with the @Rockies.
•Undrafted out of high school ✅
•Earned his degree ✅
• Buster Posey Nominee 2x ✅
•1st team All-American✅
•Professional baseball player ✅
You can get it all @EKUBaseball!#Development pic.twitter.com/gwQZDnKh8c
— Edwin Thompson (@GUCoachT) July 28, 2020
Rockies Sign AJ Lewis
Lewis is a 5’10”, 200-pound catcher originally from Chicago, Illinois. He began his college career at the University of Missouri but transferred after his freshman year in which he hit just .043/154/.087 in 26 plate appearances. His first stop after Missouri was John A. Logan College in Carterville, Illinois but his next major appearance was with Eastern Kentucky in the Ohio Valley Conference. It was there that Lewis hit his stride as a college hitter.
Lewis played two seasons for the Colonels before signing his deal with the Rockies. He hit .303/434/521 with nine home runs in 239 plate appearances as a junior. Lewis followed that up with a slash line of .451/541/843 in 61 plate appearances before the global pandemic affected the NCAA season. Lewis looked great in his final two college seasons but some of that was certainly because he was on the older end of the spectrum. One positive sign that age wasn’t a huge factor was the prestigious Cape Cod league stint in 2019. That work came between his junior and senior seasons. Lewis hit .304/448//391 in 29 plate appearances for an Orleans squad that won its division in 2019.
What To Expect from Lewis
Lewis might ultimately move to second base as his professional career progresses. He played both second and third briefly through his collegiate career. He showed solid plate discipline as well. Lewis’ frame could suggest a permanent move to the infield but he also might just stay at catcher if he has a strong enough arm and defensive instincts. Catcher is one of the weaker positions in the Rockies’ system so developing more options there is a solid long-term strategy.
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