'I'm just having fun at this point': Twins' Lewis healthy and hitting

No. 36 prospect in baseball records first multihomer game since return

May 20th, 2023

is a gamer, plain and simple.

In his fifth game back after suffering a torn ACL on May 29 of last year, the No. 36 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline slugged two homers in his first multihomer game of the season. 

The driving factor for his hot start has been his positive mindset through it all.

“It feels like if you had a dream, and it was taken away from you, and you got it back,” Lewis said. “That’s just how I’m treating it. I love this game so much and it means so much for me to be out there having fun and making jokes and just enjoying myself.”

Lewis finished the night 3-for-4 and catapulted Triple-A St. Paul to an 8-1 victory over Columbus.

The Twins’ No. 2 prospect is in the final stages of a grueling recovery that comes with tearing an ACL, but he already looks ready to return to the bigs. Lewis played just two games last week with Double-A Wichita before showing he was ready to face Triple-A pitching.

On Friday in his third game of action for the Saints, Lewis notched big fly Nos. 2 and 3 in just five games back.

The first long ball came in the fourth inning against recently optioned right-hander Zach Plesac. With a 2-0 count, the 23-year-old drilled the next pitch he saw deep into the right-field bleachers. The solo shot left the bat with an exit velocity of 101.7 mph and gave St. Paul the 2-1 lead.

Five outs later, history repeated itself.

Once again facing off against Plesac, Lewis demolished a tater 404 feet to right-center field. The 106.9 mph laser made it a 5-1 ballgame.

The California native has picked up right where he left off last season. So far in 2023, Lewis has slashed .444/.500/1.000 across five games, and if you were wondering about the knee, Lewis has three stolen bases to his name, so it seems to be just fine.

“For me it was just stay positive and make sure that I was going to do everything I possibly can to get right, until I got back to help them out,” Lewis said. “That’s where I’m exactly at, I feel like I’m at 120% and I’m just having fun at this point.”

Saying the former first overall pick's road has been tumultuous to this point would be an understatement.  After missing an entire year of live action due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lewis tore the ACL in his right knee in February 2021. The injury, which has a lengthy recovery, caused the prospect to miss the entire 2021 season.

In 2022, Lewis finally made a comeback and showed the talent that made him a No. 1 pick in the first place. After forcing the hand of the Major League club, Lewis hit for a .300 average with two home runs and an .867 OPS in just 41 plate appearances for the Twins.

On May 29, 2022, he was patrolling center field when he ran into the wall and tore the ACL in his right knee again.

The recovery was better the second time around for Lewis because he knew which exercises worked and which did not.

“I feel like the knee was in a lot less pain, I didn’t have any patellar tendinitis, like I did the first one,” Lewis said. “I was able to get stronger a lot faster.”

Now 12 months removed from that incident, Lewis is on the 60-day IL and cannot be activated until the end of the month. However that has not stopped him from dazzling on the field and knocking on the door to Minnesota.