Minnesota Twins: Prospect profile SS Royce Lewis
By Tyler Kruse
With the Minnesota Twins continuing to dominate competition at the highest level, let’s take a look at their prized prospect Royce Lewis, and see how his season has gone thus far.
Royce Lewis, the first overall selection of the 2017 MLB draft, had an outstanding first full year in the minor leagues. He was able to slash .292/.352/.451 splitting time between the Cedar Rapids Kernels and Fort Myers Miracle. Currently ranking as the 3rd overall prospect according to MLB.com, the young shortstop has a long way to go to prove he can be one of the top shortstops in the game.
Starting the year off at high-A ball with the MIracle, Lewis hasn’t gotten off to the best start. He’s currently slashing .226/.281/.325, well below the numbers he put up in his first full season in the organization. I wouldn’t be too worried though, as he has the tools to be a polarizing player in the MLB for years to come.
One thing you can attribute the slow start to is an oblique strain he was dealing with throughout most of spring training. After receiving an invite to the Minnesota Twins spring training camp this year, Lewis didn’t get a chance to show the big league club what he could do. Given the fact that he’s only 20 years old, Lewis still has plenty of time to work his way up to Minnesota. With the emergence of Jorge Polanco and outstanding play by Luis Arraez, there’s definitely no rush.
Though he’s off to a slow start this year, the tools are there for Royce to be a successful big league shortstop. His scouting grades for hitting, power, running, arm strength, and fielding are at 60, 50, 70, 55, and 55 respectively. He grades out at a 65 overall, showing he has loads of potential to become one of the best in the game.
Long known as a speedster on the bases, Royce grew into quite a bit of power last year as well. Scouts also think that given some time, he will fill out nicely and be able to provide quite a bit of pop to any line-up he finds himself in. Royce was able to connect with an impressive 14 home runs last year between the two different stops.
Though he wasn’t always guaranteed to stick at the shortstop position, it looks like he’s proved doubters wrong. Not quite being a shoo-in, I’d say he has a strong chance of playing there down the road. Of course, that all depends on what Polanco, Arraez, and Nick Gordon are up to by the time Lewis makes his way to Minnesota to join the big league club.
Royce has been very productive throughout his career even at a young age. “Lewis was the youngest player in the Florida State League when he got there at age 19, so he’s already well ahead of the curve”, according to MLB.com. While he may be having a down year relative to his superstar status, I have a feeling the young man will find his way back to the right track in no time.