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Painting the Black: Four NL Players to Watch

Jensen Lewis

Jensen Lewis

Jensen Lewis is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher, playing parts of four seasons in the big leagues with the Cleveland Indians. Drafted 102nd overall in the 3rd round of the 2005 draft, he played 9 professional seasons altogether with the Tribe, Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs. Lewis amassed a career of 7-11 in 161 games, good for a 3.68 career ERA in 198 innings. He helped the Indians win the AL Central in 2007, becoming a key cog in their bullpen, on a postseason run that ended with a Game 7 loss to the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series. Lewis went a perfect 13 for 13 in save opportunities with the Indians in 2008 as their closer and was nominated for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award in 2010. The award recognizes the player who combines a dedication to giving back to the community with outstanding skills on the baseball field as well as representing the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions to their Clubs. A Vanderbilt University graduate with a BS in Communications, Lewis now works as a broadcast personality with Fox Sports and SportsTime Ohio in Cleveland. He continues to be involved in Cleveland Indians Charities providing support to the Cleveland community, making visits to local hospitals and participating in the annual Tyson Food Distribution event held before Thanksgiving. A diehard Cleveland fan his entire life, he still holds out hope that the Tribe & Browns championship droughts will come to an end during his lifetime.


PAINTING THE BLACK: 4 NL players to watch

My short tenure through the National League taught me a few things: 1) I can still bunt and 2) I've never done so many pick-off moves to EVERY BASE in spring training EVER! I credit Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson with putting a ton of stock in shutting down the running game, but making the pitcher priority #1 in the chain of command to do so. There's no question the game is played differently from the American League to the National League. A big concentration centers on the running game as well as late-inning execution from pinch-hitters. What does all this mean for fantasy GMs? Extra-base hits, stolen bases, and on-base percentage become even more magnified when considering your NL position players. Strikeouts, WHIP, and high-velocity closers make up an impressive NL stable of arms too. Ultimately, four National League players stand out for me that will be difference-makers for their respective teams.


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