Former Salem-Keizer Volcanoes player Fred Lewis was in the majors for six seasons and played with the Giants, Reds and Mets (Brad Mangin/MLB Photos/Getty Images).
No. 17 on the list of the Keizertimes 20 greatest Volcanoes players of all time list is outfielder Fred Lewis, who spent six seasons in the majors, playing for the San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays, Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets.
Lewis was a three-sport athlete in high school, playing football, basketball and baseball at Stone High School in Wiggins, Miss. After graduating in 1999, Lewis attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College for two years, where he played both football and baseball.
Lewis transferred to Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.for one season before getting drafted by the Giants in the second round of the 2002 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft.
He spent his first season as a professional with the Volcanoes and quickly became one of the top players in the Northwest League (NWL). Lewis batted .322 with a .396 on-base percentage (OBP) and had 77 hits. He was also named the NWL Player of the Month in July of 2002.
In 2003, Lewis advanced to full-season Single-A with the Hagerstown Suns. He finished the year second in the Giants organization with 30 stolen bases. Lewis also led the team in runs scored (67), walks (68) and doubles (17).
Lewis continued to have success as he advanced up the Giants system in 2004. He hit .301 with an OBP of .424. Lewis also had 59 RBIs and 30 stolen bases before being called up to Triple-A in Fresno during the last week of the season.
Despite ending the 2004 season a step away from the big leagues, Lewis spent all of the 2005 season in Double-A before advancing back to Fresno in 2006.
Lewis batted .276 with Fresno in the ‘06 season with 12 homers and 56 RBIs. He also led the squad in triples (11) and total bases (199). On Sept. 1, 2006, he was called up to join the Giants.
However, Lewis was mostly used as a reserve in the final stretch of the season and only got 11 at-bats.
But after beginning the ‘07 campaign back in Triple-A, Lewis rejoined the Giants roster on May, 6 2007. Just one week later, he made franchise history.
In just his 16th big league game, Lewis became the 22nd player in Giants history to hit for the cycle in a 15-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on May 13, 2007.
Lewis began the game with a leadoff double, then hit a three-run homer in his second at-bat. He had an RBI-triple in the fifth inning and completed the cycle with a single in the seventh.
Less than two months later, Lewis made history again.
On June 1, 2007, Lewis hit his first career grand slam against the Philadelphia Phillies. On July 4, Lewis hit another grand slam against the Cincinnati Reds, becoming the first ever San Francisco rookie to hit two grand slams in a season. He finished the year batting .287 in 58 games.
Lewis played a much more prominent role for the Giants in 2008, appearing in 133 games and batting .282 with 25 doubles, 21 stolen bases and had an OBP of .351. He was also the only player in MLB to steal home twice during the season.
Lewis maintained similar numbers across the board in 2009, his final season with the Giants, before being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010, where routinely batted in the leadoff position and started in the outfield. He batted .262 and had a career-high 31 doubles.
However, the Blue Jays elected not to resign Lewis, making him a free agent. Lewis signed a one-year deal with the Reds in 2011, then signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets in 2012. His last appearance in the big leagues came on Oct. 2, 2012 with the Mets.
Lewis played internationally in Japan for one season in 2013, which was followed by three years of playing independent ball.