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The Bard’s Take: 2017 MLB Draft - Royce Lewis

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Profiling the best position player from the prep ranks in this season’s draft.

Name: Royce Lewis

Age: 17 (June 5, 1999)

Height: 6’ 2”

Weight: 190 lbs.

Position: SS/OF (R/R)

Affiliation: J Serra Catholic HS (CA) committed to UC Irvine

Of all the toolsy prep athletes in this year’s draft, none rate as highly among scouts as Royce Lewis, the hands-down consensus best position prep player in the draft.

Grades: (Present/Future)

Hit: 55/65 | Power: 45/55 | Run: 70/70 | Field: 50/60 | Arm: 50/55 |Overall: 55

The Scouting Report:

Lewis brings a great deal of raw athleticism to both sides of the ball. While he does not possess the big, raw power of fellow prep stars Beck and Adell, he does possess a good, mechanically sound swing with a well-above average hit feel for his age. Ultimate power grades vary from 50 to 60, but all agree that Lewis’ combination of bat speed and the fact that he still has plenty of room to fill out should translate to above average power as he matures. Already a gap-to-gap hitter, Lewis should be able to take advantage of both his speed and increasing power to provide teams with plenty of extra-base thump. On the bases, Lewis’ speed is already a weapon. With more coaching, Lewis should be able to translate that into another tool with which to make opposing teams nervous. With his combination of skills, Lewis projects as a 20-steal, 20-homer, high-OBP bat to place at the top of a lineup.

Defensively, Lewis is an up-the-middle defender. There is some speculation that his arm might not be enough to stick at short. However, as his arm is still above average, most think that Lewis will be given the opportunity to play himself out of the position. If he does not stick at short, Lewis possesses the speed, athleticism, and instincts to be an everyday center fielder. Even if Lewis slows some as he gets older and bulks up, his bat should play well in corner outfield positions as well.

The Take:

The only knock on Lewis is his throwing arm, and even those skeptical of it are still not ready to take a firm stand that it will be anything less than acceptable. Lewis has variously been mocked to go anywhere from 1-1 to 1-10. As draft day nears, it is appearing less and less likely that he will be available at number seven for Arizona to consider. However, unless somehow Bukauskas, Greene, or McKay are still available as well as Lewis, it would be very difficult to justify passing on such a highly-gifted prep talent.

Chance that Royce Lewis is available at #7: Low

Chances Lewis signs if drafted at #7: Exceptional – Lewis has already indicated a strong willingness to sign should he be selected anywhere in the upper reaches of the first round. There will be zero savings with a Lewis pick, but there is little-to-no concern that Arizona would fail to sign him

The long and short: If Lewis is available, take him and thank Lady Luck for smiling upon Arizona