By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
MIAMI Marlins prospect Ian Lewis was recognised by the organisation as one of the top performers in its farm system.
The 18-year-old infielder was named the Florida Complex League MVP when the Marlins named their Minor League Award winners for the 2021 season yesterday at loanDepot park in Miami, Florida.
In his first season of professional baseball, Lewis played 43 games in the FCL.
He hit .302, with a .354 OBP, slugging .497 and an .851 OBP.
Lewis had an FCL leading five triples, three home runs, 10 doubles, nine stolen bases, 45 hits, 27 RBI and 24 runs scored.
Lewis, the No.29 ranked prospect in the Marlins pipeline, was briefly assigned to the Dominican Summer League before the team eventually reassigned him to the Florida Complex League six days later on June 28.
His impact was felt immediately with a two-run home run in his pro debut on June 29 against the FCL Mets.
Lewis produced 11 multi hit games on the season, including a perfect day at the plate in the Marlins’ 6-4 win over the FCL Cardinals on August 24.
The Florida Complex League (FCL), formerly the Gulf Coast League and the Arizona Complex League (ACL), formerly known as the AZL, are rookie-level Minor League Baseball leagues that are the first rung on the minor-league ladder.
No team can have more than three players with four or more years of minor-league experience.
Minor League Baseball returned in a restructured format across all levels for a 2021 season, following the cancellation of the 2020 campaign due to COVID-19.
“It was a crazy year, None of us really knew what to expect, a lot of unknown going into the season. No. 1 priority was, ‘Let’s get a full season in.’ So our guys had the opportunity to play and develop playing games.” Marlins’ Director of Minor League operations Geoff DeGroot said to MLB.com, “It was just constant development, where our hard work and everything finally started to show up. About halfway through the season, these guys really started to take off, so it’s really a credit to our entire development staff, all of our coaches for their relentless work, and all of our players as well for their resiliency.”