Pitchers and catchers are about to report down in Fort Myers for Spring Training, which means the Minnesota Twins season is almost (finally) here.
It's been a long winter with not a ton of action, although the Twins have finally started to settle in and make some moves. Trading Jorge Polanco and signing Carlos Santana are the most notable moves, but part of the reason for the anemic approach to Hot Stove SZN was how great the talent the team already has in the clubhouse.
Royce Lewis leads that charge, as he's primed to follow up his phenomenal rookie season with showing fans what he can do with a full season of work. It's not just Twins fans who are excited to see what Lewis can do, as the expectations are already getting set pretty high.
Royce Lewis is an early dark horse to win AL MVP in 2024
MLB.com unveiled its early MVP ranking and listed Royce Lewis among the potential dark horse candidates to keep an eye on.
There's so many threads to pick at here, not the least of which his how it's nice to see Lewis getting some love at the national level. He was left off the list of top third baseman, despite very clearly being one of the best in the game.
Leaving Lewis off the list of top third baseman is to overlook the insane impact he had on the Twins after he was called up back in May. He helped single handedly win his first game against Houston and kickstarted a rookie campaign that featured a stretch where he hit three grand slams in six games.
He played just 58 games but finished the year slashing .309/.372/.548 with15 homers and 52 RBIs, and kept his magic going in the postseason by hitting four home runs in six games. It's impossible to overstate how important he was tothe Twins last year and how crucial he is as part of the future.
To hear him mentioned in the MVP conversation is fitting, and it sets the stage for an incredible year of seeing what a full season of Lewis looks like.
It's also worth mentioning that Pablo Lopez was listed as a dark horse Cy Young candidate by MLB.com last offseason, and we all saw how he followed that up. Hopefully Lewis will continue the streak of Twins players living up to and exceeding expectations.