Lewis off to hot start with Power

Getting the phone call saying you have been promoted to the next level in Minor League Baseball is something every player anxiously awaits.

For Taylor Lewis, his phone rang at the least expected time.

"I was actually going to the beach. It was one of our off days," Lewis said. "One of my managers gave me a call and told me the news."

Lewis, a 10th round pick in the 2011 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, had been spending his time in Extended Spring Training.

But impressive play from Lewis sparked the call up to the West Virginia Power.

"I was expecting the call to a certain extent," he said. "I was doing pretty well down in extended spring training. I finally got the call and it was a great feeling. This is where I wanted to get to this year. I want to just keep on moving up through the levels."

In only nine games since being promoted, Lewis has already made his presence known with the Power.

The New London, Connecticut native is batting .297 with two home runs and seven RBIs.

He credits his comfort level with the team for his early success.

"It's been great. I've been telling everyone it's a great atmosphere and a great team to play for," Lewis said. "I know a lot of the guys from last year, so I fit right in. There's no awkwardness with guys I don't know or anything. The coaches are great, the stadium is great and the players are great."

For both communication purposes in the outfield and in the clubhouse, knowing the players around you has a huge impact in performance.

"That's huge. Just knowing what players want to do out there is huge," he said. "You need to know what they like to do and if they're going to be aggressive or not. Communication is extremely important on and off the field, and I feel like my experience with these guys in the past has already established that."

As far as Lewis' performance at the plate, his patience has been the catalyst to his success.

"I've just been finding my pitches to hit and going in the there with a good approach," he said. "I've also been staying away from put-out pitches and just trying to battle with two strikes."

Lewis, a left-handed hitter, has been very impressive when opposing a left-handed pitcher. He's batting .333 in nine games against lefties. This has been one of the many things Lewis has worked on with hitting coach Edgar Varela since last season.

"It's been great working with coach Varela. I've known him since last year and he is great at what he does," Lewis said. "I'm comfortable working with him and he knows what I need to improve on. We've built a lot of trust together."

When a baseball player is successful, it is uncommon for them to try to tweak a mechanic. Lewis is content with riding his recent hot streak, but still feels he needs to work to improve overall as a player.

"There's always something to improve on. I just need to keep on working," he said. "One thing I think I can fix right away is jumping on a good pitch to hit when I get it. I can't miss opportunities when I get a good pitch to hit."

After less than a week with the Power, manager Rick Sofield and the coaching staff know one of Lewis' biggest strengths – his speed.

Sometimes just making contact could create problems for opposing defenses.

"With the speed that I have, I know a lot of managers have stressed to me just to put it in play and put the pressure on the defense," Lewis said. "It seems simple, but sometimes that's all it takes to make something happen."


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