What’s To Like
The same things that made Royce Lewis the 1st overall pick in 2017 are reasons to like him now. The athleticism is off the charts, and makeup has been something that will sell anyone. He’s still got a home at shortstop for now and will play up the middle somewhere regardless. His speed has always been among his greatest assets, and a recent interview suggests he’s gotten even faster.
At the dish, there’s plenty to like about Lewis. He’s got the ability to be a plus hitter who makes plenty of contact. He began to find his power stroke in 2019 and has only gained muscle since then. If everything settles back into where he was the last time we saw him in game action during the Arizona Fall League, he’s going to be an absolute problem for the opposition.
What’s Left To Work On
Refinement is the name of the game for Lewis. He instituted a leg kick into his swing, and timing with it has seen him struggle to have full plate coverage. He’ll need to show that he can get the foot down and drive the baseball to all fields.
There are still questions as to whether Lewis can stick at shortstop in the field. His arm strength shouldn’t be a problem, but instincts and reactions could take him off of the position. Minnesota remains committed to him in the role, and keeping him on the dirt would be a big win for all involved. If he can push away those doubts, that would go a long way to getting him to the highest level more quickly.
Lewis needs to see game action; it’s that simple. He hasn’t played in a professional game since 2019 and was out of action altogether last season. Getting back on the field and showing everyone where he’s at is a must. Depending on how that goes, he could be in line for very quick promotions. Double-A wasn’t a level he mastered at all, but the talent to be above the competition remains.
Minnesota isn’t going to be too aggressive with a guy they need to work out, but his talent could force the organization’s hand. Lewis continues to bet on himself, and doubting him would seem to be a bad stance to take.