In their first draft as Twins bosses, Derek Falvey and co. had a daunting but exciting task: They had to make a choice between every draft-eligible player on the planet as holders of the No. 1 overall pick. The pick was bound to leave them open to second-guessing no matter what happened. That's just the nature of the job.
The truth is that nobody knows what will happen with any of the players chosen. The MLB draft, in relation to how long it takes players to develop and (perhaps) eventually reach the majors, is akin to holding the NFL draft when eligible players are seniors in high school. That doesn't stop the criticism, of course, even from those of us who are nowhere near experts in evaluation.
That said, Falvey and those around him left themselves vulnerable to some immediate negative feedback with their choice of high school shortstop/outfielder Royce Lewis. He could turn out to be great, but he wasn't among the three players talked about the most — high school phenom Hunter Greene and two college stars — when it came to the No. 1 pick.
Let's take a spin through some national and local reaction to the choice:
• Retired MLB scout Dave Perkin did draft analysis for SI.com, called Lewis "perhaps the most polarizing top prospect" in this year's draft and pointed out some flaws in his swing while also praising his athleticism. Perkin also wrote this about the Twins' No. 1 pick: "Lewis is nowhere near the top prospect in this draft, but Minnesota wants to get Lewis for a reduced price and use the leftover money to get other players later on. I think the strategy is misguided, but we'll see how it pans out."
• Keith Law of ESPN said the pick of Lewis "was a slight surprise." He also said Landon Leach, the player the Twins took 37th overall, was the first player picked in the draft whom Law had graded outside his top 100.
A sampling of the hundreds of comments on Startribune.com's main draft story echoed a lot of what we saw in the immediate aftermath on social media.
"I am disappointed," one commenter wrote. "Royce Lewis may be the next Jeter and if he is, I will admit I was wrong. But this smells again of being a financial decision by the Twins. They had a chance to be bold, take Greene, do something different. And yet, this is another Terry Ryan pick. The Twins once again showed no courage.
There were some less fired-up voices saying they are willing to be patient and trust the process, using expressions such as the Lewis pick was a "sound move" and "let's give the brain trust a chance here."
The bottom line, though, is that the Twins made neither the exciting pick (Greene) nor the presumed safe pick (one of the college players, either Brendan McKay or Kyle Wright).
Time will tell if it was the right pick.
Fair or not, that opens the Twins up for criticism now and throughout the course of the yearslong development of all the players in this draft.