Commissioner Rob Manfred announces the Minnesota Twins selection of Royce Lewis, a shortstop and outfielder from JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., with the No. 1 pick in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft, Monday, June 12, 2017, in Secaucus, N.J. Named national player of the year by the National High School Coaches Association, he impressed evaluators and teammates alike with his selfless attitude.
Royce Lewis, a high school shortstop, with the first overall pick became the first franchise-caliber player acquired by the organization since Falvey and general manager Thad Levine assumed control of the baseball operations last fall.
For the past three seasons Lewis played mostly third base and center field while others handled shortstop. As a right-handed pitcher his fastball usually sits in the mid-90s, but has topped out in triple digits.
“I am just excited to go out there as soon as possible, be able to meet the staff and the players and get the ball rolling and start something special”, Greene said.
Washington, which already has shortstop Trea Turner, drafted Missouri State right-hander Trey Turner – no relation – in the 10th round.
“I worked really hard previous year after the season ended and throughout the course of the offseason and season to put myself in the best position possible to begin my professional career”, Rooker said.
“We know he’s going to be a leader the second he steps on the field”, Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said.
Leach, a high school senior from Pickering, Ontario, Canana, recently converted from catcher to pitcher.
“I don’t even know yet”, he said, wearing a Cincinnati cap and jersey. He went 10-3 with a 2.34 ERA and a school-record 140 strikeouts in 104 innings while batting.343 with 17 home runs, 56 RBIs and a.464 on-base percentage.
While the early part of the first round played out in a relatively predictable fashion, things still took some wild turns as we saw some top talent slide and some other players picked that surprised us.
Falvey said Minnesota’s choice came down to the waning minutes, and the decision to pass on Greene was “really tough”.
Greene was taken No. 2 by the Cincinnati Reds. With picks Nos. 64 and 71, they opted for high school position players. Lewis batted.388/.569/.662 with four home runs as a senior and was a 2017 Rawlings Perfect Game First Team All-American.
In a touching moment that drew a standing ovation from the former major leaguers serving as team representatives, 11-year-old Yankees fan Landis Sims – born without hands or feet – announced his favorite team’s first-round selection: SC right-hander Clarke Schmidt at No. 16 overall. He attended the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, CA, hit.419 as a junior and went 5-3 on the mound with a 1.63 ERA over 55.2 innings pitched. One person involved in the team’s draft-day process said the Twins feel they took the best player.