The Minnesota Twins announced on Friday that Royce Lewis, the first overall pick in the 2017 draft, will undergo an operation to repair a partially torn ACL in his right knee, according to Do-Hyoung Park. Lewis, who also tore the ACL in his right knee back in the spring of 2021, is expected to miss about 12 months.
Lewis, 23 years old, made his big-league debut in May. Over the course of 12 games, he batted .300/.317/.550 (149 OPS+) with two home runs and four doubles. He'd appeared in games at both shortstop and center field. Lewis suffered the tear on May 29, when he ran into the outfield wall during the process of making a grab against the Kansas City Royals.
The combination of Lewis' injuries and the COVID-19 global pandemic has limited his amount of repetitions over the last several years. Indeed, heading into next June, it's possible that he'll have appeared in just 46 regular-season contests since 2020. It's anyone's guess as to how that will impact his long-term development.
Lewis is only one of several key Twins who is and will remain on the injured list. First baseman Miguel Sano; starters Sonny Gray, Kenta Maeada, Chris Paddack, Bailey Ober, Joe Ryan, Randy Dobnak, and Josh Winder; and relievers Cody Stashak and Danny Coulombe are all on the shelf. As a result, the Twins have lost the seventh most days to the injured list in the majors this season, according to Spotrac.
Nevertheless, the Twins will enter action on Friday with a 33-26 record on the season, good for first place in the American League Central and a three-game lead over the Cleveland Guardians. The Chicago White Sox, arguably the division favorites entering the spring, are stationed five games behind the Twins.