Kansas City Royals: Bobby Witt Jr. finding success in rookie league
By Ryan Sikes
Kansas City Royals 2019 first-round pick Bobby Witt Jr. got off to a slow start in his professional career but has put together a solid month of August.
The former National Gatorade player of the year, Bobby Witt Jr. was the second overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals. It was well known that Adley Rutschman was going to be the number one overall pick for quite some time, so all the Royals had to do was not overthink the decision.
Witt Jr. was ranked as the best high-school shortstop prospect in the country and had a verbal commitment to continue playing baseball at the University of Oklahoma. However, it was a fairly easy decision for the then 18-year old to forgo college and start his professional career. Now 19 years old, Witt joined the Arizona Royals rookie team on June 30. He went 3-6 with a stolen base in his debut.
However, he batted just 0.229 in July with 2 doubles, 2 triples, and 10 home runs. He finally hit his first home run as a professional on August 15th and has been really good overall this month. It took him a bit but he’s starting to find his groove slashing 0.280/0.329/0.400 with 3 triples, 1 home run, and 16 RBI’s for the month.
He’s still looking to tap into the power that he publicly displayed when he won the High School Home Run Derby at the Nationals Park last summer. Witt defeated Cincinnati Reds 2019 second round pick Rece Hinds 8-7 in the final round in front of 44,000 fans.
Witt is already being compared to the top shortstops in the league like Manny Machado, Francisco Lindor, and Carlos Correa in terms of potential. He smacked 15 home runs as a senior while playing A+ defense and led Colleyville Heritage High School to the state championship.
Next season, Witt will likely begin at Single-A Lexington where he can hopefully start to find that power that made him so highly regarded. He should be able to do so, especially as his body matures and adds a bit more muscle. If all goes well, he could move up quickly through the minors.