"I'm an older guy now with more confidence," Lewis said. "I just have to keep doing my best to advance in the system. So far I've had a lot of fun this year and I've done well at the same time."
Lewis currently has a record of 3-1 with 26 strikeouts and a 3.29 ERA with the RiverDogs.
"He's a different guy this year," manager Carlos Mendoza said. "He's got more confidence on the mound and he's throwing strikes."
"Day-to-day I'm always working on something, whether I'm in the gym or on the field," said the Gainesville, Fl native. "Recently — I'm just trying to throw strikes.
"During Spring Training, the focus was to just throw strikes to get ready for the season. Now, I'm working on commanding my changeup, and going outside on lefties and inside on righties with my fastball. Pounding the zone and getting ground balls is my main thing."
The coaches have also noticed Lewis' confidence boost, which they are happy to see because of the improvements that have come with it.
"His confidence level has gone up a ton and he's trusting his pitches," pitching coach Danny Borrell said. "The kid has a good arm from the left side and he's proven himself each time out."
"He has a good arm and he's throwing a lot of strikes — which is key for him," Mendoza added. "As a left-hander he's got movement naturally and he's working on his secondary pitches also."
"He's got a fastball that's up around 94, he has nice little curveball, he can spin the slider, and we're really working hard on that changeup right now," Borrell said.
Lewis didn't have much luck in Charleston last year, pitching 1.2 innings in two games, allowing four hits and giving up seven unearned runs. He was then moved to Staten Island where he pitched 23 games, going 5-0 with a 4.03 ERA. Lewis recognizes he wasn't as mature last year in Charleston, and is now ready to move on.
"I was worried too much about my mechanics and the mental side of things," said the 6-foot-2 pitcher. "Everybody here has the physical tools to be here, but the people who stay are guys who can do it everyday. That's my goal — doing it every day."
"He had a little rough patch last year," Borrell said, "but ever since the end of last year and in to this year, the kid has been pretty good."
Lewis Gaining Confidence
Pinstripes Plus Top Stories
More Pitching Names To KnowThe strength of any great farm system is its depth and in that regard the Yankees are one of the top organizations in all of baseball. Not only do they have solid pitching…
Pinstripes PlusMonday at 8:41 PM
Coleman Confident He'll Turn Things AroundOutfielder Kendall Coleman, a potential breakout candidate before the season began, did not have a good year numbers-wise at all, hitting just a combined .197 between low-A…
Pinstripes PlusSaturday at 8:57 PM
Widener Ready To UnleashTaylor Widener had a terrific professional debut season on many fronts. Not only did he end the season posting a combined 0.47 ERA between short-season Staten Island and low…
Pinstripes PlusThursday at 8:45 PM
Nelson Got A Lot AccomplishedIt was a so-so professional debut season for right-hander Nick Nelson, this year's fourth round pick by the Yankees. The good news is the 20-year old went directly to short-season…