The Minnesota Twins took torpedo player Royce Lewis from a high school in California on Monday with the first major league draft pick.
It was the third time the Twins started amateur recruiting, and the first since they picked up receiver Joe Mauer, also from high school, in 2001.
Lewis racked up a .377 with four home runs and 25 stolen bases with his school, JSerra, establishing himself as one of the leading prospects for his excellent speed and good batting. He served as both shortstop and outfielder in high school, but the Twins designated him as shortstop when commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement at MLB Network studios.
“I was stiff,” Lewis said after being interviewed by the Major League Television. “It’s an incredible feeling.”
Lewis was one of the stars of the United States team who won the gold medal at the U18 Pan American Championship last year.
With the second selection, Cincinnati took to the right Hunter Greeen, also coming from a secondary school in California and one of several of polyfunctional talents in this draft.
Greene, designated as a pitcher, also played as a shortstop at the Notre Dame school. But he pulls a straight that can reach 100 miles of time, and the Reds watch him as a future ace. He went 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA and 43 strikeouts, with just four innings, in 28 innings this season. Greene also hit .324 with six homers and 28 RBIs.
When asked to make an assessment of his talent as a pitcher, Greene did not bite his tongue. “I’m a monster,” he replied in the study.
In the third round, the San Diego Padres selected lefty MacKenzie Gore from a high school in North Carolina.
Brendan McKay, another player capable of pitching and playing in the box, was selected in the fourth round by the Tampa Bay Rays. McKay comes to shine with the University of Louisville.
The Atlanta Braves took right-hander Kyle Wright of Vanderbilt University with the fifth pick.