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Lewis Thorpe - 2018

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#1 Dance with Disco Dan

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 10:22 AM

LEWIS THORPE

 

DGbV1RSW0AAmmSu.jpg

                                                           

 

Position: Left-Handed Pitcher.

 

Height/ Weight: 6’1’’ 160 lbs (all the websites have his weight at 160 lbs but he looks much heavier in all the photos and video I’ve seen – my fair-carny estimate would be a minimum of 195-200 lbs—nothing is skinny about him and he looks to have a big lower-half)

 

Age: 22 years old all season (11/23/95 d.o.b.).

 

Drafted: Signed as an International Free Agent out of Australia in July 2012 (16 years old)

 

Signing Bonus: $500,000

                                                                                                                                           

2018 Twins Prospect Rankings: Lewis is nationally considered a top-15 Twins prospect and, in many cases, falls just outside the top-10:

 

MLB.com (No. 12);

ESPN (No. 13);

John Sickels (No. 11);

Fangraphs (pending)

 

Expert Sentiment: The experts find a lot to like about Lewis with a mid-rotation projection but sentiment is tempered by the fact that he lost two seasons to injury and illness and has a delivery that's been described as violent:

 

MLB.com:

 

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 45 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45

 

If adversity is indeed a good teacher, then Thorpe might be the smartest pitcher in the Twins' system. The Australian lefty was humming along the lower levels of the Minors when an elbow injury shut him down late in 2014 and led to Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2015. He missed all of that season and when he came down with mono as he was rehabbing in 2016, that season was lost as well. He did return and throw well enough in 2017 to get added to the 40-man roster in the offseason.

 

Thorpe is getting back to the starting pitching prospect with a four-pitch mix he was looking like before the injury and illness setbacks. His fastball will sit in the low 90s, touching a tick more at times, with solid command of it. His changeup is his best secondary weapon, an above-average off-speed pitch thrown with good sink. His two breaking balls are distinct pitches, with a tight slider and more of a pure curveball he mixes in effectively. He's generally around the strike zone, and it's easy to see his overall command improving the further removed from the disabled list he gets.

 

The Twins are looking forward to Thorpe having a full, normal year without any further hiccups. He'll be at the upper levels of the system, still with a ceiling of a Nos. 3 or 4 starter.

 

John Sickels:

 

11) Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Grade B-: Age 21, from Australia, posted 2.69 ERA with 84/31 K/BB in 77 innings in High-A; missed 2015 with Tommy John surgery and 2016 with mononucleosis, but back in action in ’17 and performed well, 90-94 fastball with a good change-up, solid curve, could stand to tighten his command, possible number three starter; watch the strikeouts and K/BB ratio as he moves up to Double-A, especially as his workload increases. ETA 2019.

 

Fangraphs (from 2017)

 

Before injury, Thorpe looked like an Australian version of Julio Urias. He carved through full-season ball as a teenager in 2014 armed with good stuff, advanced sequencing and a mature ability to hold runners. When healthy, Thorpedo sat 89-93 and was touching 95 with nasty arm-side run. The arm action was explosive but violent despite relative stillness throughout the rest of the delivery. In addition to the velocity, Thorpe had a potential plus curveball, plus changeup and was flashing signs of an impact cutter/slider during his second pro season. He profiled as a potential No. 3 starter before he was consumed by health issues. He’s purely a wait-and-see prospect at this point, and he’ll probably have to pitch through multiple healthy seasons to allay concerns about the violence in the delivery and of his modest size.

                                  

2017 Minor League Season and Selected Stats: Lewis spent most of last season with Fort Myers and started one game for Chattanooga . . .he made 17 total appearances (including 16 starts) and pitched 83.0 innings both of which established career highs . . . he struck out 91 batters (roughly 27% of batters faced) for a 9.9 SO/9 rate . . .  he had a 3.16 ERA at Fort Myers, a 2.93 FIP, and a 1.21 WHIP . . . he surrendered a total of 5 home runs for a solid 0.5 HR/9 rate . . . control was a bit of an issue as he had a 3.6 BB/9 rate (9.7% of the batters faced) and uncorked 12 wild pitches

 

Video: A good video of an outing last season can be found here:

 

https://youtu.be/z2n6QStc5us

 

2018 Assignment: Lewis will begin 2018 as part of the Chattanooga Lookouts’ starting rotation.

 

Edited by Dance with Disco Dan, 10 April 2018 - 10:24 AM.

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#2 Ben Noble

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 11:25 AM

Nice write up! I've been really high on Thorpe for some time now and fully expect him to make a Romero-like jump up the prospect rankings this offseason.


#3 Dance with Disco Dan

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 12:47 PM

Start No. 1 (04/08/18)

 

          Lewis’ first start of the season was not a good one. He faced the Birmingham Barons, a White Sox affiliate, in a scheduled 7-inning game as part of a Sunday double-header. The Barons’ lineup featured only one player ranked among the White Sox’s top prospects—C Seby Zavala (No. 22 MLB.com)—but seven different batters notched a hit against Lewis including two home runs (one by Zavala). He was unable to complete the 5th inning exiting the game down 4-0, after giving up the second home run, in a 4-2 Lookouts loss.

 

          Lewis faced 20 batters over 4.1 innings surrendering 4 earned runs on 7 hits (including 1 2B and 2 HRs). Last year, Lewis gave up only 5 homeruns but 2 homeruns came in his only AA start. So, he has now given up 4 home runs at Chattanooga in two starts. This is something to be watched as Lewis had only a 36 GB% in High A last season. Hopefully, the long balls do not represent a trend. Lewis’ control was good as he issued only one walk against 5 strikeouts (4 swinging) but he did throw 2 wild pitches. In sum, it was not the start to the season Lewis was looking for but, hopefully, he will settle in to better results and re-establish himself as part of the Twins’ future rotation.

 

Box Score:

 

Player                        IP      H       R       ER     BB     SO     HR    ERA

L. Thorpe                  4.1     7        4        4        1        5        2        8.31

 

Season Stats:

 

IP:   4.1

ERA: 8.31

FIP:7.69

xFIP:2.83

WHIP: 1.85

AVG:.368

GO/AO:0.40

K/9: 10.38

BB/9: 2.08

 

Check these webpages for more granular stats for Lewis:

 

MiLB.com:

http://www.milb.com/...tching/2018/ALL

 

Baseball Reference:

https://www.baseball...id=thorpe000lew

 

Fangraphs:

https://www.fangraph...9599&position=P


#4 Dance with Disco Dan

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 11:37 AM

Start No. 2 (04/14/18)

 

          Lewis bounced back with a solid but short second start. He faced the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, featuring a lineup that included four of the Reds’ top-25 prospects: No. 13 Aristides Aquino RF; No. 16 Alfredo Rodriguez SS; No. 20 Nick Longhi DH; and No. 25 Gavin LaValley 1B. The outing was short because Lewis was removed at the 70-pitch count for the second straight game. Here, he was not allowed to come out for the 5th inning despite a 3-2 lead and a good 4th inning which indicates he is on a pitch count to start the season. The bullpen limited Pensacola to 1 hit over the last five innings as the Lookouts went on to win 3-2.

 

          Lewis faced 19 batters over 4.0 innings surrendering 2 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits (including 2 2Bs). He struck out 4 batters (2 swinging) and walked none. The unearned run was self-inflicted. After a leadoff double in the 1st inning, the Ghost of Gene Mauch (now coaching for Pensacola) ordered a sacrifice bunt and Lewis made an errant throw. The runner on second base scored and the bunter ended up on third base. The “This is why you bunt, G-Dammit” Reddit thread rejoiced and bookmarked this event for anecdotal ammunition in the unending war against overwhelming statistical evidence. In any event, Lewis is still giving up too many hits but he has done well limiting walks. His BABIP is currently .407 so we can expect improvement just from normalization (his career BABIP coming into the season was roughly .308).

 

Box Score:

 

Player                        IP      H       R       ER     BB     SO     HR    ERA

L. Thorpe                  4.0     6        2        1        0        4        0        2.25

 

Season Stats:

 

IP: 8.1

ERA: 5.40

FIP: 4.92

xFIP: 2.85

WHIP: 1.68

AVG:.342

GO/AO: 0.60

K/9: 9.72

BB/9: 1.08

 

Check these webpages for more granular stats for Lewis:

 

MiLB.com:

http://www.milb.com/...tching/2018/ALL

 

Baseball Reference:

https://www.baseball...id=thorpe000lew

 

Fangraphs:

https://www.fangraph...9599&position=P


#5 Dance with Disco Dan

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 02:23 PM

Start No. 3 (04/20/18)

 

          In Lewis’s third start he faced the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, a Marlins affiliate. The Jumbo Shrimp lineup included the prize prospects from the Christian Yelich trade: MLB.com’s Marlins No. 2 Monte Harrison CF and No. 8 Isan Diaz 2B.Lewis was allowed to exceed the 70-pitch limit imposed on his first two outings and pitched into the 6th inning.When the Jumbo Shrimp were not striking out they were piling up extra-base hits while the Lookouts offense never got going.When Lewis was replaced, the Lookouts were trailing 3-1 in a 5-1 loss.

 

           Lewis faced 23 batters over 5.2 innings surrendering 4 runs on 6 hits (including 2 3Bs and 2 HRs). He threw 87 pitches (56 for strikes) striking out 8 batters (7 swinging) and walking none. This was a game in which the strike-out and walk numbers were excellent but the results were not.The same can be said for Lewis’ season through the first three games. He is striking out more than a batter per inning and has only walked one batter all year.His downfall, however, has been home runs.After giving up two more this game, Lewis has surrendered 6 home runs in four total starts for Chattanooga.It is at the point now where it’s a concern until proven otherwise.That said, if we believe his true home run rate falls somewhere between this season’s 2.57/9 and last season’s 0.5/9, the rest of his peripherals point to Lewis having a very effective season as the home runs normalize.

 

Box Score:

 

Player                        IP      H       R       ER     BB     SO     HR    ERA

L. Thorpe                  5.2     6        4        4        0        8        0        6.35

 

Season Stats:

 

IP:14.0

ERA:5.79

FIP:5.05

xFIP: 2.60

WHIP:1.43

AVG: .317

GO/AO:0.67

K/9:10.93

BB/9:0.64

 

Check these webpages for more granular stats for Lewis:

 

MiLB.com:

http://www.milb.com/...tching/2018/ALL

 

Baseball Reference:

https://www.baseball...id=thorpe000lew

 

Fangraphs:

https://www.fangraph...9599&position=P

Edited by Dance with Disco Dan, 23 April 2018 - 02:33 PM.

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#6 Vanimal46

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 02:42 PM

I had an idea of what Thorpe looked like in my head. Needless to say I was way off after seeing his photo in the OP.
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#7 Dance with Disco Dan

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 01:22 PM

Start No. 4 (04/27/18)

 

          Lewis’ subpar start to this season continued in this game against the Tennessee Smokies, a Cubs affiliate.   Facing a lineup that did not feature a top-20 Cubs prospect, Lewis surrendered 10 hits and 18 total bases in less than 5 innings of work.   The many hits and a couple bad defensive plays resulted in a 6-1 deficit by the time Lewis was replaced and the Lookouts went on to lose by that same score.   It should be noted that the Lookouts’ offense has not done much to support Lewis scoring only 7 runs total during the 4 games he's started.

 

           Lewis faced 23 batters over 4.2 innings surrendering 6 runs (two earned) on 10 hits (including 2 2Bs, 3B, and HR).   He threw 87 pitches (62 for strikes) striking out 7 batters (6 swinging) and walking none.   Once again, Lewis’ strikeout and walk ratios were stellar. In fact, they are elite (24.0 K/BB; 11.57 K/9; 0.64 BB/9) and we’d be getting pretty excited about Lewis if he wasn’t getting hit consistently between strikeouts.   Although the sample size is small, this season’s GB% (36.2% vs. 36.0%), LD% (24.1% vs. 22.8%), and FB% (39.7% vs. 41.3%) are nearly identical to the ratios he put up in Fort Myers last season.   The significant differences are his HR/FB ratio (21.7% vs. 3.8%) and BABIP (.436 vs. .304). It is tough to tell without watching the games if Lewis is a hard-luck pitcher this year or if the AA batters have his number.   I’m hopeful that it’s the former and that the swing-and-miss component of his game (20 swinging strikeouts through 18.2 innings) is rewarded with better results.

 

Box Score:

 

Player                        IP      H       R       ER     BB     SO     HR    ERA

L. Thorpe                  4.2     10      6        2        0        7        0        3.86

 

Season Stats:

 

IP:             18.2

ERA:            5.30

FIP:            4.63

xFIP:           2.44

WHIP:            1.61

AVG:          .349

GO/AO:        0.94

K/9:             11.57

BB/9:          0.64

 

Check these webpages for more granular stats for Lewis:

 

MiLB.com:

http://www.milb.com/...tching/2018/ALL

 

Baseball Reference:

https://www.baseball...id=thorpe000lew

 

Fangraphs:

https://www.fangraph...9599&position=P


#8 goulik

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 11:12 AM

The BAA stat tells the whole story doesn't it? Sure hope he gets going, we need more pitchers in the minors to give us hope...


#9 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 08:35 AM

It kinda boggles the mind when you realize that Thorpe is only pitching through his age 22 season in 2018.

 

Despite three years (!!!!!) of non-stop setbacks, he can pretty easily be in Minnesota at age 23.

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