Royce Lewis Wants in on the Home Run Derby

Royce Lewis, Minnesota Twins
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins have been a completely different team since Royce Lewis entered the lineup a few weeks ago. When one of the most inexperienced players on the team is producing at a historical pace, he lifts others around him.

Unfortunately, the 25-year-old former No. 1 overall pick has played only 20 of the team’s 80 games this season, making an All-Star Game appearance in 2024 seem far-fetched, even with his absurd .311 BA, 1.138 OPS and 215 OPS+.

Royce Lewis could represent Minnesota Twins by hitting dingers

But maybe there’s a path to Arlington next month after all, even if it’s not for the All-Star Game, itself? Royce has done it all, since coming off the IL, but if there are two things things that stand out above the rest, it’s his bombastic power surge (10 HRs in 20 games) and his ability to steal the hearts of baseball fans.

Yes, you know by now. The MLB Home Run Derby. When asked by Bobby Nightengale (Star Tribune) about his chances at making the AL All-Star team, the Twins’ blossoming star admitted it’s probably not a realistic dream for 2024, after missing 58 games in the first half. HR Derby though? Count Royce Lewis in.

“I would love to. I don’t know if I’m in control of that. I’m probably not allowed to do anything, but we’ll see what happens. I would love to. That’d be sick.”

Royce Lewis to Bobby Nightengale on participating in the home run derby

It’s (probably) fair (I guess) to suggest that Royce Lewis isn’t deserving of an AL All-Star roster spot, over the likes of Jose Ramirez, Jordan Westburg and Rafael Devers.

Nevertheless, if Major League Baseball wants to get serious about showcasing its stars, then it needs to find a way to include this kid in the Mid-Summer Classic festivities next month, especially when there aren’t going to be very many players representing the Minnesota Twins, a playoff team with an engaged fanbase.

Would the Minnesota Twins let Royce Lewis participate?

Let’s point out, that even if the MLB were to tap on Royce Lewis, it’s possible the Minnesota Twins organization would step in. Given the substantial amount of time he’s missed due to injury this season, plus the injury ghosts in his past, it’s possible they wouldn’t even let him participate.

Of course, the home run derby isn’t the most strenuous event a professional athlete has ever participated in, but it does include an unnatural amount of maximum effort swings in a rushed environment. Even if he were to escape healthy, the derby is known for affecting swings in a negative way post All-Star break, which the Twins do not need to happen.

The Minnesota Twins currently trail the Cleveland Guardians in the American League Central Division. Additional rest for their oft-injured young slugger may be preferred over all the risks that come with competing in the HR Derby.

As for the All-Star Game, itself, the Twins hope Carlos Correa and/or Carlos Santana get a nod, maybe even Griffin Jax. It is easy to see Lewis as an ideal home run derby participant. He doesn’t sell out for power, and his youth would certainly play into his favor.

And we all know how much that kid loves to grab the moment… Could you imagine him sending line drive dingers out of Globe Life Field as he introduces himself to the national spotlight. Maybe someday, Lewis will join the likes of Justin Morneau, as the next Minnesota Twin to take home the Home Run Derby crown. Hopefully it’s next month, but don’t hold your breath.

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