Twins’ top prospect Royce Lewis shines in Arizona Fall League
The Minnesota Twins‘ No. 1 prospect dominated the Arizona Fall League after an inconsistent summer.
The top pick in the 2017 draft and the ninth-best prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, shortstop Royce Lewis made his Double-A debut in July, hitting a combined .236/.290/.371 in 517 at-bats for Pensacola and Single-A Fort Myers.
He came alive in the postseason, going 8-for-20 with two doubles and a home run, as the Blue Wahoos fell to Biloxi in the first round of the Southern League playoffs.
He kept it going in the AFL.
Lewis, who turned 20 in July, was named the AFL’s MVP earlier this week after hitting .353/.411/.565 in 22 games and 85 at-bats during the abbreviated off-season circuit, leading the Salt River Rafters to a championship.
The MVP of this month’s Fall Stars Game after his two-run homer powered his team to a 4-2 win, Lewis led the league with 30 hits, tied for second with 20 RBI and also ranked second in doubles (9) and total bases (48).
An AFL MVP certainly won’t hurt his chances at major-league stardom. Last year’s winner, Keston Hiura, made his MLB debut this season, establishing himself as the Milwaukee Brewers‘ everyday second baseman.
Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna (2017) was MLB’s Rookie of the Year the following season and earned his first All-Star nod this year. Gleyber Torres (2016) is already a two-time All-Star after debuting for the New York Yankees in 2018.
Lewis was joined by five other Twins prospects: Pitchers Dakota Chalmers, Moises Gomez, Jovani Moran and Zach Neff, as well as outfielder Luke Raley.
Other notes from the Arizona Fall League:
— Chalmers, 23, led the Salt River Rafters with 25 strikeouts in six starts and 17 2/3 innings, but allowed 10 earned runs.
— Acquired by the Twins in the trade that sent Brian Dozier to the Dodgers, Raley, 25, hit .244/.312/.439 in 23 games and 82 at-bats, finishing third on the team in RBI (14) and tied for second in doubles (5).
— Neff, 23, had a 0.54 WHIP, second on the team, in nine relief appearances, fanning 12 in 13 innings while allowing six hits and two earned runs.