The following is an excerpt from this week's Pipeline Podcast, in which Tim McMaster, Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo talk with Royce Lewis, the No. 1 pick from the 2017 Draft and the Twins' top prospect (No. 31 overall). To listen to the show in its entirety, go to the
The following is an excerpt from this week's Pipeline Podcast, in which Tim McMaster, Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo talk with Royce Lewis, the No. 1 pick from the 2017 Draft and the Twins' top prospect (No. 31 overall). To listen to the show in its entirety, go to the MLB Pipeline Podcast page.
McMaster: You quickly, obviously, after the Draft had to adapt from high school baseball to the Gulf Coast League and then it didn't take long before you were promoted up to Class A with Cedar Rapids, so there's been a lot of change so far. Just talk about dealing with all of that.
Lewis: Yeah, it's been a lot of whirlwind of emotions, and it's been a lot of fun as well. Playing baseball every day is the dream and I'm loving it and having a lot of fun doing it.
Mayo: Royce, a lot of times, that first summer is kind of getting your feet wet, getting a sense of what pro ball is like. Not only did you get to do that in the Gulf Coast League, but then you get the news you're getting promoted up a couple levels to the Midwest League. Take us through what that was like when you found out about that, when you fund out about the promotion and obviously a four-hit day in your debut in the Midwest League. Kind of set the bar kind of high for yourself.
Lewis: It was definitely very surprising when I got the callup. They brought me in the office and told me I was going ... and I was very excited and a little sad I was missing out on my teammates down there and the playoff push we were making down there, but then again I was really happy that I was going to be joining a new team and meeting a bunch of new guys that are in the playoff push as well in the Midwest League. It's been a lot of fun. Obviously that first game, I kind of set the bar a little bit high, but all is good. We just keep having fun and working hard.
Callis: Royce, you're off to a great start so far in your pro career -- I mean you're hitting close to .300 with extra-base power and stealing bases and playing a solid shortstop -- what were your expectations coming in? I don't want to say it's been easy, but in pro ball, what's surprised you the most about it and what do you think is the biggest adjustment you're going to need to make as you continue to rise?
Lewis: What surprised me the most is how the coaches and management have been laid back about me playing. They just let me go out there and do my thing and kind of let me grow up on my own. I feel like I've been able to do that so far and I've been appreciative of the opportunity that I've had to come up with the Cedar Rapids team and play and play in Gulf Coast League, but as far as me improving, I think I've got to improve on everything. I'm 18 years old working on a lot of things in baseball and improving on maturity is the big thing and just the mental side of the game, but hopefully I'll get physically a little bit bigger and get into that power aspect and then keep up the speed.
Mayo: Royce, I know one of the things coming into the Draft that you had said that you were eager to prove was that you could stay on the dirt with a lot of people saying maybe you'd be better off in center field with the tools that you have. At least for now the Twins have let you go out and do just that, play every day. How have you felt that has been going and is that still a motivator for you to sort of prove that you can play shortstop for the long-term?
Lewis: Yeah, of course, I love that position. Like I've said before, if I have to move to center field, I have no problem doing that and moving to center field and playing a great center field out there as well. But I'm here and it helps to prove people wrong sometimes and I just love the position and I think I can do it and that coaching staff has been really supportive of that and it's helped me a lot and I feel like I've improved a lot already.
Callis: Going back to Draft day, how hectic was that for you? I mean, I know there was some uncertainty as to who was going to go No. 1, I think right up until the time when the Twins made the pick. What did you know before the pick was made? How early did you find out and were you -- obviously there was some pride involved -- but were you worried about going No. 1? How hectic was that Draft day for you?
Lewis: It was very hectic, but it was awesome. I was there with my family and they were very supportive of whatever happened. I actually had no idea until they called my name and Rob Manfred called my name and that was just an amazing feeling. I actually stated crying because I knew all the hard work had paid off and it was just the start of a career, hopefully a long-lasting career. Now I've got to put in more hard work to get where I want to be, but that day was just very special to me.