The Twins have seen plenty of young talent graduate to the Major Leagues in the past couple of seasons. And while the upper levels of the minor leagues aren’t exactly bursting with players expected to be stars, the Twins can claim a few of those names in their farm system.
Royce Lewis, last year’s top overall draft choice, leads a group of 5 Twins players named to Baseball America’s annual top-100 prospects list, which published Monday. Lewis, No. 24, is the highest Twin by far, even though he is just 18 years old and hasn’t played an inning above low-A ball.
I talked with Lewis this weekend at TwinsFest, and the shortstop said that he’s added 13 pounds and weighs an even 200 right now. He said he’ll try to add 5 or so more pounds before spring training so that when he inevitably loses a couple pounds during the season he’ll still be around the 200 lbs. that he targets as his playing weight.
Lewis had a great year last year that ended with a promotion to low-A Cedar Rapids. He said he’s comfortable if he starts at that same place again this year, but he’d also embrace the challenge if the Twins wanted to send him to High-A Fort Myers. At just 18 years old, Lewis said he’s not impatient — time is on his side as he ascends the minor league ladder to the big leagues.
Lewis batted .279/.381/.407 split between rookie ball and low-A Cedar Rapids this year. He also stole 18 bags in 21 tries. That’s a good offensive showing for his first pro season, and he’s considered by BA the top defensive infielder in the Twins’ system. That’s what you’d expect for a No. 1 overall pick.
The other Twins prospects to make the top-100 are Brent Rooker (No. 92), Nick Gordon (No. 93), Wander Javier (No. 95) and Stephen Gonsalves (No. 97). Each one deserves his own column, and we’ll have more coverage on each of them in the future.