Twins select Royce Lewis with first overall pick

"It was an awesome feeling", Lewis told from his home in Orange County after the Minnesota Twins made him the No. 1 pick.

Alabama high school outfielder Bubba Thompson was the last of the four players at the draft to be selected, going to Texas with the 26th pick.

The Twins used their competitive balance pick in the sandwich round to take Mississippi State outfielder Brent Rooker, who led the SEC this season in batting average, home runs and RBIs. The Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year is hitting.343 with 17 homers and 56 RBIs for the College World Series-bound Cardinals.

"Cody would have taken him 1/1 I think", Marlins vice-president of scouting Stan Meek said.

Lewis played both shortstop and outfield in high school.

Royce Lewis, a hard-hitting shortstop from J. Serra High School in San Juan Capistrano, was the No. 1 selection by the Minnesota Twins, immediately followed by fireballing pitcher-infielder Hunter Greene of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, taken second in the first round by the Cincinnati Reds. Landon is 18 years old, 6-foot-4, and 205 pounds. Toronto also picked high school catcher Hagen Danner with their second-round selection (61st overall).

There is no TV coverage of the draft on Tuesday, but will provide online streaming, including analysis and information from draft gurus Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo from MLB's New York Studios.

North Carolina high school left-hander MacKenzie Gore (San Diego Padres) went third, ahead of Louisville first baseman Brendan McKay (Tampa Bay Rays) and Vanderbilt right-hander Kyle Wright (Atlanta Braves). The last time was in 2001 when the club selected Joe Mauer. Instead, he ended up going No. 2 to Cincinnati, which will exercise precautions with him. 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.

He is a power-speed player who hit.388 with four home runs and 25 stolen bases as a high school senior.

"We considered a lot of guys, but Royce is one of the elite athletes with his makeup and intangible packages available in any draft", Twins VP Mike Radcliff said.

The Milwaukee Brewers made UC Irvine second baseman Keston Hiura the ninth overall pick.

SC starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt had Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm in May.

At No. 13, Miami took New Mexico high school lefty Trevor Rogers, who was also at the draft site and is the cousin of former Marlins outfielder Cody Ross.

Lewis had a request: He'd found a picture of himself, Greene and Kentucky high schooler Jordon Adell and thought it'd be cool for the three friends and high-level draft prospects to sign copies of it and each keep one. The Twins, with the first pick, have more bonus pool money than any other team.

  • Julie Sanders