By Mike Max

FORT MYERS, Fla. (WCCO) — It’s the backfields in Fort Myers, where Twins minor leaguers live this time of year. It is here you find their coveted first round pick.

“It’s just great, just getting the experience to meet all the guys,” Royce Lewis said. “Just having fun out here and just hanging out and getting to practice a little bit and get to know other drills and little things.”

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All eyes are on Lewis. It comes with the nature of a high profile first round pick. He’s doing what he can to just blend in, but by nature, he wants to lead.

“It’s fun. I’m just trying to be out here,” Lewis said. “The best thing to do as a leader is to just follow first. Many people didn’t believe, but Martin Luther King Jr., he was a follower before he was a leader. Behind the scenes, that’s what I like to do. I read a lot of books and I just try to follow some inspirational people, like Derek Jeter for me.”

You can’t help but think of Jeter — the same position, and even a likeness. Lewis impressed with some of that same skill set, and he makes no bones — Jeter is who he wants to be.

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“My idol, man. Someone that did it the right way on and off the field and just had a lot of fun doing it, and worked as hard as he possibly could,” Lewis said.

For now he is doing what he has to do. Stay patient, work hard, progress through the system — patience a key.

“I get to play the game of baseball every day. It doesn’t matter what level,” Lewis said. “The minor leagues are the minor leagues, so I’m not worried about going to high A or low A. Wherever I end up, I get to play the game of baseball every day and I’m just blessed to have that opportunity.”

An opportunity to play, and to lead, and to do it what he hopes is the right way.

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“I think my parents raised me the right way,” Lewis said. “Just having fun out here.”

Mike Max