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By Zach Cavanagh
No matter what, Royce Lewis will forever be remembered at JSerra Catholic High School.
In an on-campus ceremony on Wednesday, Lewis (Class of 2017) was honored by JSerra with the retirement of his No. 6 jersey by the Lions baseball program.
Lewis was given a framed jersey, JSerra coach Brett Kay spoke to the qualities of Lewis as a player and person and a large banner was unfurled with Lewis’ jersey and a blown up photo. The banner will be placed on the JSerra outfield wall to show that no one at JSerra will ever wear the No. 6 jersey of the 2017 No. 1 overall pick in the MLB Draft.
As a senior at JSerra, Lewis hit .377 with four home runs and 25 stolen bases. That summer, he was chosen with the top pick in the draft by the Minnesota Twins.
In his two years in the minors, Lewis is hitting .288 with 18 home runs, 101 RBI and 46 stolen bases. Last season, he won an Advanced-A Florida State League title with the Fort Myers Miracle.
Lewis is headed off to his first big league Spring Training with the Twins beginning this weekend in Fort Myers, Florida, and The Capistrano Dispatch spoke with the JSerra alum:
The Capistrano Dispatch: How special of a moment is this for you to come back to JSerra for this celebration?
Lewis: It’s really important just being here, back with my family. It reminds me of how awesome it was back in the day. Now I just have to keep working and growing as a person.
You said “back in the day.” It’s only been two years!
I know, it’s crazy to think about, but it’s kind of been a long time for me. I’ve had a couple years of pro ball now and growing up and returning as a young man. It’s fun.
What do you miss most about JSerra?
Playing as team with all my friends and hanging out each and every day.
What does it mean to you that the No. 6 will never be worn again by a JSerra baseball player?
It means a lot. Just having that special moment for myself and my family. It means a lot. It means I’ve played my part. I just love it and appreciate it.
We saw Coach Kay get a little emotional talking about you. Can you talk about your relationship and what it means to have him here?
It means a lot. I was trying not to look at him because I was starting to get a little shaken up there. I didn’t want to that moment, especially in front of all these kids. I means a lot to me. I’m the godfather of one of his sons. Their family means a lot to us.
What’s the first two years of pro ball been like for you? You’ve had a quick rise, some success and a championship in there too.
It’s been great. It’s treated me well so far. I love the organization and the Twins. They’ve been great and coaching me up well. We’ve had a lot of fun doing it.
Now you’re going to your first big league Spring Training. What are you most looking forward to?
Honestly, just getting to know the guys and get comfortable with them, learning from them as much as I can. I know they have a lot of expertise, and I’m looking forward to learning as much as possible.
What’s stood out to you the most over the first two years? What’s been your “welcome to pro baseball” moment?
How amazing all the people are in our organization, honestly. That stood out. I thought there would be a little mixtures in personalities, and there is, but there’s so many amazing people in the organization. The Twins are great people and have a great team.
How much do you feel you’ve grown personally from your time at JSerra to now?
Oh, a lot, a lot. I’ve had to mature real quick. Especially with I’m trying to get a house here real soon, trying to start living on my own, separating yourself away from the family. It’s kind of weird. Normally, I’d be a sophomore in college right now, so it’s kind of weird.
And how’s that Batmobile car still going?
It’s doing good. Good ecosystem, car, we’re doing good.
Royce Lewis loves Batman, takes time for his fans, and is tearing it up at Single-A Cedar Rapids.@DanHayesMLB spent time with the @Twins' top prospect and his current and former coaches for a deep look at his path to the big leagues. Oh, and to check out his Batmobile car. pic.twitter.com/2qr73teymM
— The Athletic (@TheAthleticMIN) May 31, 2018