The Minnesota Twins announced tonight that they have selected shortstop Royce Lewis from JSerra Catholic High School (CA), with the first overall selection in the first round of the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. In addition, the Twins also selected outfielder Brent Rooker from Mississippi State with the
The Minnesota Twins announced tonight that they have selected shortstop Royce Lewis from JSerra Catholic High School (CA), with the first overall selection in the first round of the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. In addition, the Twins also selected outfielder Brent Rooker from Mississippi State with the 35th overall pick in the Competitive Balance Round A, and right-handed pitcher Landon Leachfrom Pickering High School (Ont., CAN) with the 37th overall pick in the second round.
Lewis was rated as a top prospect in the draft by MLB.com. A versatile position player, Lewis played third base and center field at the start of his high school career before playing solely shortstop as a senior. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Lewis was named the 2017 Gatorade Player of the Year in California and Trinity League Player of the Year for the third consecutive season. The right-handed hitting Lewis was also named the Los Angeles Times High School Player of the Year as a junior in 2016, after hitting .429 with nine doubles and four home runs. He was named MVP of the 2016 Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field and the Perfect Game All-American Classic MVP at Petco Park. The Aliso Viejo, CA native was a member of the gold medal-winning USA Baseball 18U National Team in the fall of 2016 that defeated Cuba in October for the 2016 COPABE Pan American AAA Championship.
Rooker finished his redshirt junior season at Mississippi State University hitting .387 (96-for-248) with 30 doubles, three triples, 23 home runs and 48 RBI in 67 games, winning the Triple Crown in the SEC. The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder was named a finalist for the Dick Hoswer Trophy as collegiate baseball player of the year after being named the SEC Player of the Year and First-Team All-SEC. The Twins originally drafted Rooker in the 38th round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft, but he did not sign. A graduate of Evangelical Christian School in Germantown, TN, Rooker hit .430 with nine home runs as a senior. He also led ECS to the Division 2-A State Championship Game in football, collecting 3,300 yards of total offense with 33 touchdowns, was named a 2013 Tennessee Mr. Football finalist after setting 18 school records, and played on the basketball team.
Leach, a high school senior from Pickering, Ontario, Canana, recently converted from catcher to pitcher. Leach played for the Canadian Junior National team and was the closer last season. Was a member of the Toronto Mets 16U rotation in 2016 as well as being invited to play on the Toronto Blue Jays scout team and Tournament team at the Perfect Game WWBA Championships in 2015. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound right-hander was also a part of the Eastern Ontario Baseball Association team that won the Gold Medal at the Ontario Summer Games in 2014. The 17-year-old Leach is fluent in French and played hockey. Leach was the first Canadian player selected in the 2017 First-Year Player Draft.
The Twins continue the 2017 First-Year Player Draft tomorrow with rounds 3-10 beginning at 12:00 p.m. CT