The Twins are fucking with us, right? Royce Lewis looks like a stud. In his first 11 games in the majors, he had a .308 average, 12 hits, 5 RBI, and 2 HR — including a grand slam and a goddamn curtain call at Target Field. He’s only getting better, too. So of course the Twins optioned him to AAA St. Paul after another stellar game—raking a double and a solo homer in a 5-2 loss in Oakland.
“We have to make difficult decisions often,” said manager Rocco Baldelli. THIS IS NOT A TOUGH DECISION.
The Long-Awaited Promise of Royce Lewis
Minnesota Twins fans have been waiting for Royce Lewis for five years. We watched as he worked his way through the Minor Leagues—named to the 2019 All-Star Futures Game and then mashing to the Arizona Fall League MVP. In 2020 the Minor League season was canceled amid the pandemic. Still, we waited. In 2021 Lewis tore his ACL. We waited even longer—while Lewis’s contemporaries like Fernando Tatis Jr. and Vlad Guerrero Jr. vaulted to superstardom.
The Twins are a franchise built on the promise of its farm system. Every year experts tease us with who’s coming next. Whether it’s Miguel Sano, Kohl Stewart, Nick Gordon, or Alex Kirilloff, the promise of a prospect becoming a major league superstar, or even a contributor, often falls short. So when Royce Lewis filled in for Carlos Correa, many of us shrugged. “If he’s not ready (probably won’t be), whatever.” But incredibly, Lewis was ready. He proved he belongs. And despite being that rare prospect who met the moment, the Twins decided to hide that light under a fucking bushel.
Really? No Room in the Minnesota Twins Inn?
Creativity is rare in the stodgy world of baseball, but it’s surprising/infuriating that the Twins can’t think of ANY other way to use Lewis than to send him back to AAA.
The Twins knew this would be an unpopular move and immediately put their gross, patient spin on it: “With Carlos Correa returning, there’s less room for him,” “He needs consistent plate appearances,” or “We want to give him more reps at multiple positions.” Glen Perkins is right: This can’t happen up with the Twins?
The Twins are not good enough, or healthy enough, at any position to justify demoting Royce Lewis. When the Twins drafted Lewis in 2017, he’d played mostly at third base in high school, with only one season at short. So put him at third base (Gio Urshela has been fine, but he’s not the future). Put him in left until Kirilloff can
hit more than singles stay healthy. Or hell, PLAY HIM AT SHORT. Split time with Carlos Correa. I get it, you’ve got $35 million invested there, but you’re delusional if you think Correa won’t test free agency in 2023. C’mon, Twins. Don’t waste the first half of 2023 getting Lewis up to speed when he could be getting major-league experience NOW.
Royce Lewis turns 23 next month—the same age as Tatis and Guerrero Jr. And if he hadn’t torn his ACL in early 2021, Lewis might already be considered a similar major-league talent. He certainly proved he belongs, but the Twins seem content to drive him and their fans to CHS Field instead. At least Royce will be there to watch us shatter the Cup Snake World Record on May 28.