The high school shortstop’s dream was made a reality. Lewis, a native of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., officially signed a contract with the Twins between Games 1 and 2 of the team’s doubleheader against the Indians.
Royce Lewis, the number one overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, is officially a Twin! pic.twitter.com/83qDRNGcRO
– Minnesota Twins (@Twins) June 17, 2017
Lewis signed a deal of $6.725 million, a source told MLB.com’s Jim Callis, a record for a high school player. The club has not confirmed the details of the deal.
Agent Scott Boras knew long before Lewis signed his record-breaking contract or even before his name was announced that his client was going to be the first name called in the 2017 MLB Draft.
In fact, Boras said he knew when he met general manager Thad Levine and chief baseball officer Derek Falvey at the Winter Meetings — even if there were multiple names thrown around in the final hours leading up to the selection.
“This was not a surprise for me,” Boras said. “I assure you in the many years I’ve been in this business, who Royce is as a person is distinguishable from many. I think he’s someone, someday, that will be something all of us in baseball hope players will be.”
During the news conference, Boras recalled watching one of Lewis’ high school games with the Twins. He noted that when Lewis took a 3-2 slider and ended up stealing second and third, before scoring on a popup past the shortstop, it was evident the front office was interested.
However, the selection of Lewis had as much to do with his attitude and makeup as his ability to play baseball. Lewis, 18, has the most complete package of tools of any player in the class, including a 70-grade speed (on the 20-80 scouting scale). But his personality is considered off the charts.
“We felt we selected both the top talent in the Draft and the top person,” Falvey said. “And that’s a credit to his parents and his family, and to Royce. We couldn’t be happier.”
Draft 2017: Lewis reacts to being first overall pick
Royce Lewis reacts to being selected first overall by the Minnesota Twins in the 2017 MLB Draft
Lewis said he has toured the Twin Cities over the past couple of days and admitted he thought it was “beautiful and clean.” He will soon head down to Fort Myers, Fla., to begin play in the Gulf Coast League.
After meeting with Minnesota manager Paul Molitor on Saturday, Lewis is eager to get up to the big league club sooner rather than later.
“I just met Paul Molitor,” Lewis said. “I’m like ‘Whoa, over 3,000 hits and a .306 batting average. I’m like, I’d like to do that someday.'”
Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.