The future is certainly bright for the Kansas City Royals and MLB gives high praise to 2019 first-round pick Bobby Witt Jr.
When people think about Kansas City Royals’ prospects, they’ll immediately think about the pitching prospects. It’s a big reason why both Single-A Lexington and High-A Wilmington are playing for their respective league’s championships. The 2021 rotation for the big league roster figures to be well represented with the team’s most prized pitching prospects.
However, one player that could project very well is 2019 first-round draft pick, Bobby Witt Jr. The 19-year shortstop is already being compared to one of the game’s best by MLB:
"He’s a five-tool player with baseball IQ and makeup that’s just as impressive as his physical ability — and some scouts say he’s the Draft’s best shortstop prospect since Alex Rodriguez. – MLB"
MLB Pipeline has projected the top 10 prospects at the end of next season and they have Witt as the number 3 best prospect in the game. It’s definitely not a crazy notion. He’s already ranked as the game’s 8th best prospect and with many of them graduating to the big leagues next year, it would only make sense that his ranking improves.
After the draft, Witt spent the remainder of the season in the Arizona Royals rookie league. He smacked just one home run but slashed 0.262/0.317/0.354 with 3 triples and 9 stolen bases. I recently had the chance to speak with him about his 2019 season and I am not sure I’ve seen a prospect more excited about the game.
I would expect him to tap into that raw power that he displayed in throughout the Class 5A playoffs as a high school senior. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out if Adalberto Mondesi is still at shortstop when Witt is ready to be called up. I suppose one could slide over to second base, but I am also curious to see how Nicky Lopez performs next season.
Lopez, 24, is reportedly going to go on the Whit Merrifield diet and exercise plan to add some muscle to his frame. He’s among the worst in terms of hard contact in the league right now but could see a giant leap in production next year.