Royce Lewis, SS/3B, MIN

When will the former #1 overall draft pick live up to his potential? In one respect, he just did…

Video courtesy of Minnesota Twins
  • Born: June 5, 1999
  • B/T: Right/Right
  • 6’2″, 200-lbs
  • Drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 1st round of the 2017 MLB June Amateur Draft from JSerra Catholic HS (San Juan Capistrano, CA)

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

You certainly don’t like to see number go backwards, as his OBP and SB/GM and K% and BB% all have. The power is merely OK, not great.

So what’s the deal? Why do the scouts think Lewis is a top-10 talent?

He hits lefties very well, but righties keep him subdued. Lewis has a lot of movement in his swing, and it’s costing him against righties.

We see the pull power, though there is some opposite field home runs showing up. The power is not yet there.

We see his regression above. While 2018 was a great year with a down ending, his 2019 was poor from the start until he fought his way back to above-average OPS by August 1st.

Part of his struggles was due to his spring training injury. He wasn’t right for the first couple of months in the season, and that’s clearly seen above.

But Lewis did something interesting late in the season: he won MVP honors at the Arizona Fall League by hitting .353/.411/.565 in 22 games there. In fact, I happened to catch him one game there and took this video myself of him hitting a home run and looking good doing so:

The Scouts

Warnings

We want to see a healthy Lewis do to other leagues what he did to the AFL.

We want to see his power develop more.

Can he re-work his swing to be less noisy?

Conclusion

What do the scouts see? They see an extremely athletic, high makeup young man with speed, developing power and potential to be great.

Yes, this is a case where the scouts carry the day over the numbers. But to be fair, it’s now time to see those numbers improve or the scouts will start to doubt.

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