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  • Royce Lewis Promoted To The Kernels


    Seth Stohs

    The Cedar Rapids Kernels announced this morning that #1 overall pick Royce Lewis will join the team on Saturday.

    Image courtesy of William Parmeter (photo of Royce Lewis)

    The Twins promoting Lewis to the Midwest League is something that hasn't been done in dozens of years, at least.

     

    The last #1 overall pick, Joe Mauer, spent the 2001 season (his draft year) with Elizabethton before spending the entire 2002 season in the Midwest League.

     

    Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios started their pro careers (2012) in the GCL, as Lewis has, before being promoted to Elizabethton.

     

    Back in 2006, Chris Parmelee (first round) and Joe Benson (second round) began their pro careers in the GCL. When that season ended, they were promoted to the Kernels to play in their playoff series.

     

    The Kernels will be in the 2017 playoffs thanks to their strong first half.

     

    Lewis has been slumping of late, but few question his immense athleticism, talent and baseball acumen.

     

    In 36 games in the GCL, 18-year-old Royce Lewis has hit .271/.390/.414 (.803) with six doubles, two triples and three home runs. He also has 15 stolen bases.

     

    A month ago, GCL Twins manager Ramon Borrega told Pioneer Press's Mike Berardino that he thought Lewis should be promoted directly to the Kernels.

    “When I had Buxton, I said, ‘Why are we keeping this guy? He needs to go somewhere,’ ” Borrego said. “It’s the same thing with Lewis. It’s the same case. I said, ‘Hey, get ready to get him out of here.’ He’s been dominating the league. The way he’s been playing, you say, ‘Wow. This kid doesn’t need to be here.’ That kid’s ready to go play in CR right now.”

     

    The timing, however, is interesting. In July, Lewis hit .321/.412/.464 (.877). However, in 33 at-bats so far in August, Lewis has just four hits. He's hit .121/.341/.182 (.523). As you can see, despite the lack of hits, he's still taking walks (9) and getting on base, and once he does that, he has the ability to steal a lot of bases.

     

    This is definitely an aggressive move for the Twins, but Lewis seems to have the makeup. It will be fun to watch.

     

    This continues an aggressive trend. Supplemental first-round pick Brent Rooker was promoted from Elizabethton to Ft. Myers a few weeks ago. Lewis becomes the fourth member of the 2017 Twins draft to join the Kernels. Fourth-round pick Charlie Barnes and eight-round pick Bryan Sammons, both left-handed pitchers, joined the Kernels in recent weeks. They are both in the Cedar Rapids rotation. Days after, infielder Jordan Gore was also called up to the Kernels.

     

    By the way, have we mentioned that Cedar Rapids is just a 4 to 4 1/2 hour drive from the Twin Cities?

     

    Also, here is a first look of Kernels infielder Royce Lewis in his #30 uniform...

     

    https://twitter.com/CRKernels/status/896450965863370752

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    A short change of locale. Get him under the wings of being against some older talent. He will return to Florida for the Fall Instructional League, I'm sure. 

     

    Different roadtrips on the horizon. A stepping stone to maybe starting with the Kernels next year. After all, want to see Royce graduate out of the short-season teams if at all possible and not sit in Florida during the early months of 2018 playing piickup ball.

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    A short change of locale. Get him under the wings of being against some older talent. He will return to Florida for the Fall Instructional League, I'm sure.

     

    Different roadtrips on the horizon. A stepping stone to maybe starting with the Kernels next year. After all, want to see Royce graduate out of the short-season teams if at all possible and not sit in Florida during the early months of 2018 playing piickup ball.

    Barring injury, 100% he starts at Cedar Rapids next year.

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    HOLY CRAP.

     

    Seriously. That's amazing to see a prep player jump to A ball the year he's drafted.

     

    At this rate, he could spend a significant portion of 2018 in the high minors.

    Even at top, top performance/health he won't get out of Ft. Myers next year.

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    I live in San Diego, so... If I ride my motorcycle 100 mph for 2,000 miles to Iowa, that's just a 20-hour ride! Figure a few days in the hospital, a little rehab, some jail time... I could watch Royce Lewis in his last game of the season!

    There's stoplights near the ballpark. You might just barely miss it.

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    Even at top, top performance/health he won't get out of Ft. Myers next year.

      

    As I understand it, everything from A+ upward is the high minors. If I'm wrong, I retract the statement. He won't make it higher than A+.

    I agree with drjim as I too have always considered the "high minors" as AA and AAA.

     

    I disagree with drjim that he won't get out of Ft Myers. Opening Day SS 2018 baby!

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    They do have a logjam at SS, if they decide to keep Lewis there.  He and Javier cannot be in the same team and get enough reps at SS.   And Javier seems to be a natural SS.  

    Next season will be interesting to see based on those parameters.

    Great marketing move to send him to Cedar Rapids (got to remember the issues the Twins have with the town of Elizabethton as well, even though those seem to be easing up a bit.)   Folks will be out for their race towards the post-season.

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    HOLY CRAP.

    Seriously. That's amazing to see a prep player jump to A ball the year he's drafted.

    At this rate, he could spend a significant portion of 2018 in the high minors.

    High minors?? Heck, the Twins better deal Dozier this winter. Polanco will have to move over to 2B to make room for the teenager! Har!

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    I'll take a stab at arbitration. I have to side drjim on the AA and AAA being high minors. Sorry Brock.

     

    Anyways, love the move. I'm confident in Falvine and am definitely excited about many of the ways they're running the org.

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    About time we have a FO that moves the prospects aggressively. I love it. It helps take the lingering sting away from passing on Hunter Greene.

     

    The Twins have moved prospects up quickly since Brad Steil took over when Jim Rantz retired 3-4 years ago. This is more aggressive than normal, more aggressive than we've seen for any pick in MLB in years. (Courtney Hawkins one example). 

     

    Mauer, Buxton, Correa... none of them did this. 

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    I live in San Diego, so... If I ride my motorcycle 100 mph for 2,000 miles to Iowa, that's just a 20-hour ride! Figure a few days in the hospital, a little rehab, some jail time... I could watch Royce Lewis in his last game of the season!

    If you really cut it loose up to 160 your drive time is only 12-1/2 hours.  The jail time might be a bit longer, though. No predictions on the hospital stay. 

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    Okay, listen. There are some interesting things being said here and we all applaud Lewis for the promotion and good game but

     

    WE NEED A CLARIFICATION ON WHAT "HIGH MINORS" REALLY MEANS

    High minors is AA and AAA. At any point those players can be called up to majors. A+ is close to major leagues but not quite high majors IMO. Opinion changed with Polanco and Pujols and view A+ as close but rare to be called up to majors. But could within a year. Under A+ and you're more than than 1 year away

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