The Minnesota Twins will be without their top overall pick from the 2017 draft this upcoming season, as 21-year-old shortstop Royce Lewis must undergo surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Lewis was the first overall pick in the 2017 MLB draft, and he was expected to play at Class AAA St. Paul this upcoming season.
The team stated that Lewis will have reconstructive surgery on Friday.
Lewis’ surgery will take place in Minneapolis under the care of the franchise.
The rehab for Lewis will take anywhere from nine months to a year, according to Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey.
“He’s Royce,” Falvey said of the youngster. “He’s got a smile on his face. He knows he’s going to have a rehab year ahead, knows he’s going to have to put in a lot of work, but he’s prepared and ready to do that.”
The Twins still have very high hopes for a successful career for Lewis, who was ranked by ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel as the top prospect in the Twins system.
The injury was first discovered when Lewis told the team he noticed discomfort in his knee after running lateral drills as part of his training regimen this month.
Lewis then slipped on ice from a recent winter storm and experienced further soreness. The Twins were unable to determine exactly how or when the ligament was torn.
Lewis was the MVP of the Arizona Fall League in 2019 after ending the season at Class AA. He was idle last year when the minor leagues shut down.
The shortstop inked a $6.725 million bonus when he signed with the Twins out of JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, California.