The Runner Sports

Minnesota Twins Take Royce Lewis Number One Overall

Monday night’s blowout loss to the Seattle Mariners may be overshadowed someday. That day is probably many years away. On the same night that the Twins’ young and inexperienced pitchers faltered again, another young star was the real highlight.

Royce Lewis was taken with the Twins’ first overall first pick in the 2017MLB Draft. Already in company with Joe Mauer as first overall picks, Lewis will hopefully join Mauer as a major league star. Of course, this is professional baseball so the answer to whether or not this was the right pick is well down the road.

But if Lewis succeeds, Twins fans can expect a quick shortstop with a great arm and solid power at the plate. In an interview with ESPN following the draft, Lewis says he models his game after the Astros’ Carlos Correa, which seems to add up given his build and his power projections. Manny Machado would also be a reasonable comparison, especially given the scouting reports on Lewis’s quick hands and strong arm. Though Lewis does not quite have Machado’s ears. I cannot imagine a single Twins fan complaining if Lewis plays as well as these two All-Stars or even if he gets within shouting distance of their success.

Choosing Lewis instead of some promising pitchers that were chosen right behind him is somewhat surprising given that the top prospect in the minor league system at this point is Nick Gordon, who also plays shortstop. Gordon also plays second base, so perhaps the expectation is that these two players will form the double play duo for the Twins in a few years. If both Lewis and Gordon pan out, the Twins could have one of their best middle infields of all time. As much as I love the Luis Rivas-Christian Guzmán combo of the early 2000s, and all the great middle infielders the Twins have had over the years, they have never really had a pair up the middle that succeeds on both offense and defense.

A Gordon-Lewis pair could become something the Twins could build around in a few years. Gordon promises to be a top of the order hitter with high average and high on-base skills, while Lewis’ power and contact could put him in position as a solid number three hitter. Those are two hitter profiles that every team would love to have, and the fact that the Twins have the potential for them to appear in a few years is very encouraging. Especially considering all the young talent on the current major league roster that should still be around by the time these guys make it to the bigs.

But again, this is all projection. So for now, we should just be happy for the young Royce Lewis that he was taken first overall in the MLB draft. Then once we’re done wishing him well, we can root for the Twins to rebound against the Mariners.

Charlie Gillmer

Charlie Gillmer

Charlie Gillmer is a lifelong Twins fan who spends most nights dreaming of learning a knuckleball and pitching them to a World Series victory.
Charlie Gillmer

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