The Minnesota Twins had the first pick in the 2017 MLB Draft and the team selected Royce Lewis (SS/OF) from Jesuit Serra Catholic High School to join their ranks. He batted.562 with 25 home runs, 61 RBIs, 22 stolen bases and 53 runs as a senior, earning Gatorade Kentucky Baseball Player of the Year honors.
Lewis was a standout on USA Baseball’s gold medal-winning Under-18 team at the Pan American Championships last year and was selected as this year’s National High School Coaches Association’s high school senior baseball athlete of the year. Most draft pundits agree that Greene appears to be the top talent in the draft, but it’s been over 20 years since a high school pitcher (most prefer Greene’s pitching to his hitting) has been taken with the top pick.
San Diego selected North Carolina high school left-hander MacKenzie Gore with the third choice.
Manager Paul Molitor even admitted he had no idea who the team would pick a day before the draft, though that could have been misdirection. The organization believes he will hit for power as he adds strength to his 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame.
Eventually, the Twins decided on prep shortstop Royce Lewis.
The Twins passed on Hunter Greene, Kyle Wright and Brendan McKay – the three players favored to go No. 1 overall.
College programs Vanderbilt, Virginia and North Carolina each had two players chosen in the first round, marking the 15th time in 16 years at least one pair of teammates (college or high school) was selected in the top round.
Rounds 3-10 were held via conference calls with teams, with University of Minnesota righty Brian Glowicki wrapping up the day as pick No. 315 by the Cubs.
The first night of the 2017 MLB Draft provided excitement throughout, especially as teams went against mock draft projections with quite a few of the early picks.
“Lewis is high-waisted and broad-shouldered and runs like a gazelle; his best run times from home to first base are under four seconds. I understand that many people now see me differently, but I hope that I can eventually be judged for the person I am today”. While he also plays shortstop, the Reds plan on using him as a pitcher. McKay had told different media outlets that the Twins preferred him as a pitcher.
Assigned slot value for the No. 1 overall pick this year is $7.7 million, but they aren’t expected to pay that much in a signing bonus.
“I have taken responsibility for my conduct when I was a teenager”. It’s worth noting however that previous year they didn’t take any high school pitchers until the 11th round leading off Day 3.
At the plate, his fluid left-handed swing resulted in 27 career homers (17 this year) in 649 at-bats.
Rounds 3-10 will begin at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow, and Rounds 11-40 will begin at noon Wednesday.