Royce Lewis
21-Year-Old ShortstopSS
Minnesota Twins AAA
Injury Knee
Est. Return 2/1/2022
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Even in a normal year, Lewis would have likely spent his age-20/21 season fine tuning some aspects of his game in the upper levels before debuting in early 2021. He spent the summer working on his shortstop defense and swing mechanics, particularly his lower half, at the alternate training site. In addition to his high-end pedigree, makeup and athleticism, Lewis' MVP performance in the 2019 Arizona Fall League showed he still has a very high ceiling despite middling statistical results at High-A and Double-A. From a tools standpoint, he stacks up with some of the best players in the game, so it's just a matter of getting more consistent at the plate. The team is saying all the right things about his defensive progress, but his 70-grade speed and elite instincts would give him a chance to be solid at any position, so it may just be a matter of where Minnesota's biggest need is when he is ready to debut. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
$Signed a $6.72 million contract with the Twins in June of 2017.
Undergoes successful surgery
SSMinnesota Twins  AAA
February 27, 2021
Lewis underwent successful surgery to repair his torn ACL on Friday, Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Lewis was diagnosed with a torn ACL during intake testing Wednesday, and he's now expected to face a recovery timeline between nine and 12 months following his successful surgery. He'll spend some time in Minnesota before heading back to Fort Myers to begin his rehab process.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Royce Lewis
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110 days ago
Todd Zola marvels at the depth and quality available at shortstop and offers some advice on how to construct an offense around an early-round speedster like Trea Turner.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Lewis floundered in his age-19/20 season at High-A (97 wRC+) and Double-A (88 wRC+), but was the best position player in the Arizona Fall League, slashing .353/.411/.565 with three home runs and five steals in 22 games while playing all over the diamond. He missed most of spring training with an oblique injury, which contributed to his early struggles in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. There are moving parts in his swing, which features a big leg kick, and when that timing mechanism is off, he struggles. However, he was in complete control at the plate in the AFL, using plus-plus bat speed to make hard contact to all fields. Listed at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Lewis may be a bit leaner than that -- he is a quick-twitch athlete with 70-grade speed. In addition to finishing the season strong, Lewis' pedigree (No. 1 overall pick in 2017), tools and 80-grade makeup warrant a mulligan on his 2019.
The best prospect in baseball who projects to steal 20-plus bases annually in the majors is essentially a coin flip between Lewis and Victor Robles. In addition to his plus wheels, Lewis has excellent contact skills (15.7% strikeout rate across stops at Low-A and High-A) and upped his walk rate from 7.3% to 9.1% after a promotion from the Midwest League to the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. Elite bat speed is not only the key to his innate bat-to-ball ability, but also the reason he projects to be a 25-homer bat down the road. He won't turn 20 until June 5 and already has 15 homers in 139 career games against full-season pitching. At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, he will be able to add good weight without compromising his speed on the bases. It is unclear if he will end up somewhere on the dirt or in center field, but the bat will play anywhere and his speed gives him the upside of a future first-round fantasy pick.
It doesn’t always work out this way, but the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft also happens to be the top prospect from that class for dynasty leagues. While evaluators question his defense at shortstop (some expect him to eventually move to center field), Lewis is oozing with tools on the offensive side of the ball. He is at least a plus-plus runner from the right side and might have the quickest bat in his class, hinting at plus raw power down the road. That bat speed led to impressive contact rates in his pro debut, and despite turning 18 just before the draft, he is already able to get to his power in games. Lewis made quick work of the Gulf Coast League and was 17 percent better than league average (117 wRC+) in an 18-game run as one of the youngest players in the Midwest League. Lewis doesn’t have quite the same body as Mookie Betts (Lewis is five inches taller), but his offensive production could wind up being very similar to what Betts provides.
More Fantasy News
Suffers torn ACL
SSMinnesota Twins  AAA
February 24, 2021
Lewis was diagnosed with a torn ACL on Wednesday, Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
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Attending big-league camp
SSMinnesota Twins  AAA
February 15, 2021
Lewis received an invitation to the Twins' big-league camp Monday.
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Added to 60-man player pool
SSMinnesota Twins  AAA
June 29, 2020
Lewis was included in Minnesota's 60-man player pool ahead of summer camp before the 2020 season begins, reports.
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To focus on shortstop in 2020
SSMinnesota Twins  AAA
March 19, 2020
Lewis will continue to develop as a shortstop for now, although he has really impressed the Twins with his brief stints in center field, Sam Dykstra of reports.
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Joining big-league camp
SSMinnesota Twins  AAA
February 3, 2020
Lewis was invited to the Twins' big-league camp Monday, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports.
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