Twins pass on trio of pitchers, select shortstop Royce Lewis No. 1 overall
The Minnesota Twins have selected shortstop/outfielder Royce Lewis with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft.
Lewis, a versatile player from JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, California, was named the 2017 Gatorade Player of the Year in his home state.
He was also selected as this year's National High School Coaches Association's high school senior baseball athlete of the year.
Last season as a junior, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Lewis was named the Los Angeles Times High School Player of the Year after hitting .429 with nine doubles and four home runs. He was also named MVP of the 2016 Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field and the Perfect Game All-American Classic MVP at Petco Park.
"We couldn't be more excited about Royce Lewis," Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said. "You watch him play on the field, and it's infectious. He loves his teammates, you can see him moving around all the time, being a part of it. We're just so excited to have him as part of the organization."
The Twins passed on Hunter Greene, Brendan McKay and Kyle Wright -- the three players favored to go No. 1 overall. Greene was drafted second overall by the Cincinnati Reds, McKay went fourth to the Tampa Bay Rays and Wright fell to the Atlanta Braves' pick at No. 5.
"When you look at this draft, there were players throughout that were really good," Falvey said. "We made a lot of difficult decisions here down the stretch, and we couldn't be happier with what we got."
Then a star at Cretin-Derham Hall, first baseman Joe Mauer was the last player selected by the Twins with the No. 1 overall pick.
The 2009 American League MVP and a three-time AL batting champion, Mauer starred as a catcher for more than a decade after being drafted in 2002, before moving to first base following the 2013 season.