By Simon Banks
On June 12, the MLB Draft got underway, with the Minnesota Twins selecting first overall. The 2017 draft class was of okay strength, but the first three overall selections could be great additions to their new MLB teams’ systems. So, let’s check out these future stars of baseball!
Royce Lewis, SS/OF, Minnesota Twins: Lewis was selected first overall in the 2017 draft – which came as a bit of a shock to many – with his immense athleticism on both sides of the ball impressing the Twins greatly. The scouting report marks him in as having a 70 run rating, as well as having a decent 55 grade hit. He’s very skilled with the bat in his hand and selects his shots well, with his tremendous athleticism helping him to grab the extra base.
Last season, Minnesota ended as the very worst team in the MLB with just 59 wins to 103 losses. Now, to add to them getting the first overall pick, the Twins, who lead the American League Central, can be backed at 13/2 with the bookmakers to win their division. It’s a no-brainer for regular punters but newcomers might want to brush up on the specifics (and learn how to tell the difference between a moneyline bet and a run line) with an online baseball guide.
The 18-year-old Lewis has signed a contract with Minnesota, which is great for the team as he is very versatile and extremely athletic, but he will require ample time to develop. He has the makings of a great player (get a sense of his skills in the video below) and has decent Fantasy potential down the line, especially considering his basestealing prowess, which is becoming a rarity in today’s game, so that alone should make him a fine asset.
Hunter Greene, SP/SS, Cincinnati Reds: Considered by many to be the best and most complete prospect in the 2017 draft, Greene was selected second overall by the Cincinnati Reds. As it stands, Greene has yet to sign with the Reds; he’s expected to be waiting for an amount that would top the draft class.
General Manager Dick Williams stated that Greene will have development focussed around pitching but that they will also allow him to take at-bats, as well as having the option for him to play in the field. Greene received high grades for his fastball, slider, control, power and arm, but it will likely be a few years before he suits up in the big leagues, with but a handful of teenage pitchers making it to the majors this century.
When he eventually completes his climb to the top, he will be a huge star of the game, one who fans will love to watch and Fantasy owners will wish they had on their team.
Mackenzie Gore, SP, San Diego Padres: Lanky 18-year-old lefty Gore was snapped up by the San Diego Padres third overall, having received strong scouting grades for all of his pitching skills, but particularly his fastball and curveball. The pitcher, who has since signed with the Padres, can reach 97 mph with his fastball and can maintain high velocity in late innings, with his curveball being a grand secondary offering.
Gore is a versatile pitcher showing clean mechanics and projects to be a strike-throwing lefty in the big leagues. He will require a fair amount of time to develop but, if he continues to enhance his strong base skill-set, he should become a good Fantasy option in the future.
From a draft class not rated among the best, three future stars emerged from the first three picks, and Fantasy owners should keep tabs on them all for the future — especially Greene.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below which 2017 draft pick you expect to make the biggest Fantasy impact.