Earlier this week, the Minnesota Twins made California high schooler Royce Lewis . On Sunday, they made him a multi-millionaire.
Lewis and the Twins have reportedly agreed to a bonus north of $6.7 million, reports Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports. The team announced the signing -- though not the bonus terms -- and held an introductory press conference at Target Field on Sunday afternoon.
The slot value for the No. 1 pick was $7,770,700 this year. That Lewis signed so quickly and for an under-slot bonus suggests the two sides agreed to a deal ahead of time. Pre-draft deals are technically illegal, but every team does it, and MLB does not enforce the rule.
Lewis, 18, was ranked the fifth-best prospect in the draft class by Baseball America. :
Lewis may have the best tools of any position player in the draft, headlined by top-of-the-scale speed on the bases and excellent power at the plate. It's not certain he'll be a shortstop long-term, but if he doesn't he may have a future at another premium position in center field.
By signing Lewis below-slot, the Twins will now be able to use the $1 million or so in draft slot savings on other players. That, of course, was the plan all along. Spread the money around.