MLB Draft: Twins Select Royce Lewis First Overall

Major League Baseball has completed the first day of the 2017 Draft, which aired live on MLB Network and this evening from Studio 42 at MLB Network in Secaucus, New Jersey. In total, 75 players were selected during Round 1, Competitive Balance Round A, Round 2 and Competitive Balance Round B.

The Minnesota Twins selected JSerra Catholic High School shortstop Royce Lewis with the first overall pick in the Draft. Lewis was the second shortstop taken with the first overall selection in the last three years, joining Dansby Swanson, who was the top selection in 2015.

Four players who were in attendance at Studio 42 were selected in the opening round, including Notre Dame High School (CA) right-handed pitcher Hunter Greene, who was selected second overall by the Cincinnati Reds; Ballard High School (KY) outfielder Jordon Adell, who was taken 10th overall by the Los Angeles Angels; Carlsbad High School (NM) left-handed pitcher Trevor Rogers, who was drafted 13th overall by the Miami Marlins; and McGill-Toolen High School (AL) outfielder Bubba Thompson, who was the 26th overall selection by the Texas Rangers.

Eight of the top 26 selections in the Draft (30.8%) were African-American or Latino, including Lewis; Greene; Adell; Alex Faedo (18th overall, DET); Heliot Ramos (19th overall, SF), who is an alumnus of MLB’s Elite Development Program in Puerto Rico; Jeren Kendall (23rd overall, LAD); Seth Romero (25th overall, WSH); and Thompson. With shortstop Jeter Downs selected 32nd overall, six of the top 32 selections (18.8%) were African-American. Tonight marked just the third time in the last 30 years that African-American players were selected with the first two picks of the Draft, joining 1991 (Brien Taylor – 1, Mike Kelly – 2) and 2003 (Delmon Young – 1, Rickie Weeks – 2). Additionally, it was the first time three African-American players have been selected in the top 10 since 1992, when Jeffrey Hammonds (4th overall), Derek Jeter (6th overall), Calvin Murray (7th overall), Preston Wilson (9th overall) and Michael Tucker (10th overall) were drafted.

Greene became the second-highest pick ever among MLB Draft attendees, behind only Houston’s Carlos Correa (first overall by Houston in 2012). In addition, it marked the highest pick by any player out of the MLB Youth Academy network, eclipsing Dillon Tate, who was the fourth overall selection by Texas in 2015. Greene is also the highest selection of an alumnus out of the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program since Justin Upton was selected first overall by Arizona in 2005. With Greene’s selection, it was the third consecutive season that an alumnus of the RBI Program was selected in the top five (also Dillon Tate in 2015 and Corey Ray in 2016). Greene, who also participated in the 2015 Elite Development Invitational and 2017 DREAM Series, was a participant in the High School Home Run Derby last year at Petco Park in San Diego along with top overall pick Lewis and 10th overall pick Adell.

Ten players who participated in 2017 events for the joint Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) program by MLB and USA Baseball were selected on the first night. They include Nick Pratto (14th overall, KC – PDP SoCal), Thompson (PDP Atlanta), Chris Seise (29th overall, TEX – PDP Bradenton), Luis Campusano­-Bracero (39th overall, SD – PDP Atlanta), Michael Mercado (40th overall, TB – PDP SoCal), Calvin Mitchell (50th overall, PIT – PDP SoCal), Matt Sauer (54th overall, NYY – PDP SoCal), Hagen Danner (61st overall, TOR – PDP SoCal), Hans Crouse (66th overall, TEX – PDP SoCal) and Blake Hunt (69th overall, SD – PDP SoCal). The structure of the voluntary program provides a streamlined, official identification and assessment pathway service for elite high school age athletes to maximize their exposure to MLB Clubs and their scouts by conducting regionalized, professional workouts where they can be evaluated. At each PDP event, players undergo a unique athletic assessment consisting of sport performance vision screening, swing analysis and precise physical testing.

Cal Mitchell, who was drafted 50th overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates out of Rancho Bernardo High School (CA), participated in MLB and USA Baseball’s 2016 Breakthrough Series in Tempe, Arizona.

Twelve right-handed pitchers were selected in the first round of the Draft, marking the ninth consecutive year (2009-17) that at least 10 right-handed pitchers were taken in the first round. Other players taken in the first round included six left-handed pitchers, six outfielders, four first basemen, three shortstops, one second baseman and one third baseman. The four first basemen represented the most selected in the first round since six were drafted in the first round in 2008. No catchers were selected in the opening round for the first time since 2002. Overall, it was the sixth such occurrence, also joining 1998, 1996, 1991 and 1988.

A total of 18 players in the first round were chosen from college, while 12 were selected from the high school ranks. The state of Florida produced six players in the first round, followed by California (4), Alabama (2), Georgia (2), Missouri (2), North Carolina (2), Pennsylvania (2) and Texas (2). For the 15th time in the last 16 years, at least one pair of teammates (college or high school) were selected in the first round when first baseman Pavin Smith (7th overall, ARI) and outfielder Adam Haseley (8th overall, PHI) were drafted out of the University of Virginia; right-handed pitcher J.B. Bukauskas (15th overall, HOU) and shortstop Logan Warmoth (22nd overall, TOR) were drafted out of the University of North Carolina; and right-handed pitcher Kyle Wright (5th overall, ATL) and outfielder Kendall were selected out of Vanderbilt University.

The 2017 Draft will continue on Tuesday via conference call beginning with the third round at 1:00 p.m. (ET) and is scheduled to go through the 10th round. The Draft will resume on Wednesday beginning with the 11th round at 12:00 p.m. (EDT). The Draft will have 40 rounds and a Club may pass on its selection in any round and not forfeit its right to participate in other rounds.