Greene picked for arm, McKay for bat near top of MLB draft

The Twins drafted talented shortstop/outfielder Royce Lewis with the first overall pick in this year's MLB Draft.

Influence in the community: Greene first attended Major League Baseball's Urban Youth Academy in Compton when he was 7 and is considered a potential star role model in baseball's efforts to reverse the scarcity of African-American players, especially pitchers. Lewis is the sixth player ever selected in the draft out of JSerra Catholic High School, and the highest since catcher Austin Hedges was selected by the Padres in the second round in 2011.

He is a power-speed player who hit.388 with four home runs and 25 stolen bases as a high school senior. The Twins drafted as high as second overall in 2012, when they took speedy high school outfielder Byron Buxton with the pick.

The Twins selected Louisiana high school right-hander Blayne Enlow with their third-round pick.

The first college player selected was Louisville first baseman/left-hander Brendan McKay, who went fourth overall to the Tampa Bay Rays. On the mound as a senior, he was 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 28 innings pitched before being shut down to conserve his arm, given his pro career ahead.

"My body just went numb", Lewis said during an interview with MLB Network.

"This guy gets it", said Mike Radcliff, the Twins" vice president for player personnel. He has played for the US national team at various levels, helping the 18-and-under squad win the World Cup in 2015, when he was just 15 years old.

"I just treat everyone equally", Lewis said. Greene was in NY for the draft. The MLB Draft's split between high school and college selections during the opening rounds generally fluctuates over the years, and the pendulum seems to be swinging toward the high schoolers again, at least with the draft's highest picks.

Originally a shortstop during his time with the Washington Nationals, Desmond moved to the outfield last season, where he quickly settled in as a viable option in center field.

"I am just excited to go out there as soon as possible, be able to meet the staff and the players and get the ball rolling and start something special", Greene said.

"We felt Royce separated himself from those other guys just a bit, and we feel like he's somebody that we'll build around for the future", Falvey said.

Falvey said Minnesota's choice came down to the waning minutes, and the decision to pass on Greene was "really tough". Minnesota also hold the 35th and 37th overall selections.

Schmidt underwent Tommy John surgery in early May.

Among the second-round picks was North Carolina State shortstop Joseph Dunand, the nephew of Alex Rodriguez who was selected as a third baseman by Miami at No. 51 overall.

Shortstop Lewis, 18, was selected first overall to begin the three-day, 40-round draft on Monday.

His father, William, played football at Fullerton College and Chino State, and his mother, Cindy, played softball at U.S. worldwide and San Jose State.

The MLB draft continues with Rounds 3-10 on Tuesday starting at 1 p.m. ET.

  • Zachary Reyes