Move over Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa, the Minnesota Twins have a new face of the franchise. After dealing with absolutely devastating injuries the last few years, Royce Lewis is not only back, he is a human cheat code.
Last week against the Texas Rangers, he hit game-changing grand slams in back-to-back games. On Monday Sept. 4, Lewis hit his third grand slam in eight days which is something that no rookie has ever done in that span in MLB history. In 51 games he is hitting .306 with an OPS of .884 and 12 HRs, with four of those home runs being grand slams. And not only is he swinging the hottest bat in the world right now, the Minnesota Twins hold a 7.5-game lead in the AL Central with only 16 games left in the regular season.
I’m not going to lie, when the Twins picked Royce Lewis first overall in 2017, I was furious. Current Reds pitcher and second overall pick in 2017 Hunter Greene was a baseball prodigy at the time. In high school he was throwing over 100 mph, hitting 450 ft. tanks, and boasting the cover of Sports Illustrated at 17 years old. I thought for sure the Twins had screwed up their best chance to land a superstar, and boy was I wrong.
Lewis is already a fan favorite and the superstar this franchise needs. Being a first-overall pick and starting professional baseball at 18 years old with lofty expectations is extremely difficult. Not to mention he suffered torn ACLs in the same knee in back-to-back years and had to switch positions when the Twins signed star shortstop Carlos Correa in 2022. He has a beautiful swing that hits for both power and average and he thrives in big moments. The guy is impossible not to root for and a huge reason this Twins offense has caught fire after the All-Star break.
Lewis has shown he can play with the big boys and be a perennial All-Star caliber player. Now the question is, can he stay healthy for long periods of time? Watching Byron Buxton the last few years show spurts of greatness and being derailed by injuries has been incredibly frustrating, and I’m not sure I can ride that emotional rollercoaster again with Lewis. Hopefully, the worst of those injuries are behind him, and he can continue to lead this team to the promised land (winning one playoff series).