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Scouting Report: Royce Lewis, SS/OF, Jesuit Serra HS (CA)

Lewis isn’t likely to fall to the Diamondbacks’ pick, but you never know.

The last set of scouting reports will mostly come from guys that have a microscopic chance of being on the board when the Diamondbacks. However, microscopic is still non-zero so that means there’s always a chance. The only scenario I see this happening is one of the Top 5 teams takes an under slot pick and the Athletics choose JB Bukauskas over Royce Lewis, who I have going 4th overall to the Rays. Lewis played CF and 2B in HS while waiting for his turn at SS, which he got his senior year. Lewis is the type of bat that could transform the Diamondbacks lineup at the top.

Hit: For a prep player, he has an advanced feel for hitting. He does a good job of controlling the strike zone and has plenty of bat speed. One issue he has is sometimes the front foot is slow to get down, which could be a problem against better fastballs. On low pitches, has a little tendency to drop the shoulders instead of the barrel to get down to those pitches, but it’s not as bad as I’ve seen from other prospects. Projects to be a top of the order hitter, I like him in the 2-hole. Grade: 50/60

Power: Lewis does have some room to add muscle to his frame, so I think we’ll see more power as he fills out more and has a more developed approach at the plate. Lewis has 40 double, 20 home run upside at the plate due to his excellent bat speed. Grade: 45/55

Speed: Lewis can fly, with a 6.64 60 yard dash and a home to first time of about 4.1 seconds and a home to 2nd in just under 8 seconds, which is stellar for a right-handed bat. Lewis’ speed gives him the potential to be a 20+ SB threat at the top of the order once he develops the instincts to run. Grade: 70

Defense: Personally, I think Lewis is better suited for CF where his plus-plus speed is a bigger asset than at SS. He has enough arm to stick at SS and it also profiles well for CF, but for a long and rangy athlete, the outfield makes more sense than SS. Grade: 45/60 OF, 50/55 SS

Lewis falling to the Diamondbacks at 7 would be a gift from the baseball gods. While the Diamondbacks are probably starving more for quality shortstop prospects vs. outfield prospects, Lewis profiles too well for center field in my opinion. Lewis’ speed gives him a high floor with the bat and can turn singles into doubles with his feet. Defensively, he doesn’t have a great feel for center field, but his speed will make up for poor jumps initially as he develops better instincts on batted balls. I see him as a #2 hitter and a perennial All-Star in the outfield with the potential for Gold Glove caliber defense there.

Upside: A

Risk: B

Grade: A-