The Twins opened the festivities at the 2017 MLB Draft on Monday night by taking Southern California prep shortstop/outfielder Royce Lewis with the No. 1 overall pick.
Lewis is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 5 prospect in this year's Draft and has the most complete package of tools of any player in the class. He is an incredible athlete with a knack for getting the barrel of the bat on the ball, and his 70-grade speed (on the 20-80 scouting scale) manifests itself on both sides of the ball.
Lewis, 18, was selected over two-way stars Brendan McKay and Hunter Greene, as well as right-hander Kyle Wright. The Twins, who had the No. 1 overall selection for the third time in franchise history, are expected to sign Lewis for under the slot value of $7,770,700, which they can use on later picks, especially considering they also have the Nos. 35 and 37 selections. Minnesota has a Draft pool of $14,156,800 for the first 10 rounds.
The big question for Lewis is if he has enough arm strength to play shortstop at the highest level. If not, he could wind up in the outfield, where his legs will allow him to track down fly balls with the best of them.
His coach at JSerra Catholic in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., is Brett Kay, a former Mets farmhand who played alongsroundsmvid Wright,Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan when they were coming up, and he says Lewis has the potential to be as good as, if not better than, all of them.
"He's the best athlete I think I've ever seen," Kay said. "I can't imagine what's going through an 18-year-old's brain right now, but he just wants to go out and have fun, and he makes this baseball field his playground. And I mean that in every sense of the nicest way I could."
Rhett Bollinger /

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