Is Royce Lewis Baseball's Best Prospect?
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (Royce Lewis)Graduating Prospects
Besides Guerrero Jr., other top ranked prospects like Fernando Tatis Jr. and Eloy Jimenez have been on their big league squads since the season started. Both of these top prospects have taken different routes to baseball’s highest level. That being said, both will be graduating from prospect lists early this season.
Jimenez signed a unique contact with the division rival White Sox this off-season. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the possibility of the Twins approaching Royce Lewis and/or Alex Kirilloff with a similar deal. With a deal like this, there was no reason to keep Jimenez in the minors. He was under contract and the team could let him play at the big league level.
Tatis Jr. was a surprise to make the Padres roster out of spring training. Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer took out Padres ownership to convince them to let the young prospect make the team. It was a smart move as the shortstop has been carrying their squad this season. Entering play on Monday, he’s batting .300 with a .910 OPS and 12 extra-base hits in 27 games.
Lewis is off to a slow start this season so there are plenty of other prospects challenging him for the top spot. Names like Alex Kirilloff, Wander Franco, and Nick Senzel have resumes that warrant consideration for baseball’s top prospect.
Twins fans are very familiar with Kirilloff and what he was able to do last season. At Twins Daily, he was named the Minor League Hitter of the Year. MiLB.com also awarded Kirilloff with the Breakout Prospect of the Year. His 71 extra-base hits and 296 total bases ranked as best in the minors. Unfortunately, he has missed time at the beginning of this season with a wrist injury.
Franco is 18-years old and he might be on pace to be a better prospect than Guerrero. He’s shown an advanced bat and he has all the makings of a five-tool superstar. Like Kirilloff, Senzel started the season battling an injury. He is starting the year at Triple-A, but he is close to big league ready. Senzel has been ranked as a top-10 prospect by multiple entities for the last three seasons.
Lewis hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire to start the season. Entering play on Monday, he has gone 17-for-87 (.195 BA) with three extra-base hits. His .538 OPS is 265 points lower than the OPS he compiled last season at Low- and High-A.
He’s 20-years old which still makes his 2.4 years younger than the competition in the Florida State League. The slow start shouldn’t be anything to be concerned about. He still has elite speed to go along with strong hitting acumen. Also, his defense seems like it might be string enough to stick at shortstop which would be a very positive thing.
Do you think Lewis is baseball’s best prospect? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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