Let’s take a look at the KC Royals’ top selection from the 2019 MLB Amateur Draft, five-tool infield prospect Bobby Witt Jr.
As the KC Royals continue their rebuild, an emphasis will be placed on prospect development. Welcome to the continuation of our “Top prospect rewind” series. The subject of this article: Bobby Witt Jr.
The son of former 16-year MLB vet Bobby Witt, Witt has baseball in his blood. His phenomenal high school career led to him signing a letter of intent to play for the University of Oklahoma but because he was already so advanced, he elected to go the MLB Draft route. It was the right move, as the Kansas City Royals took Witt with the No. 2 pick this year.
During his senior year with Colleyville Heritage HS in Texas, Witt’s .519 batting average, 14 home runs, 49 RBI and 1.696 OPS were enough to earn him Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year honors. Baseball America’s Carlos Collazo had the following to say about the five-tool prospect heading into the draft:
"“Bobby Witt Jr. is one of the most dynamic and exciting players in the country. From a scouting perspective, he has all the tools you could ask for, with a solid understanding of the strike zone, standout baserunning ability, power and defensive skills up the middle along with a strong and accurate arm. He’s also a remarkable person off of the field.”"
The 19-year-old shortstop played in 37 games of rookie ball. Posting a .262/.317/.354 line while stealing nine bases and driving in 27 runs during that span, Witt showed his ability to do a little bit of everything. It wasn’t the groundbreaking performance the Royals were hoping for, but solid nonetheless for such a young player.
Witt is a true five-tool player who could be a 20-20 threat once he reaches the major leagues. MLB Pipeline thinks that time will come in 2022 and ranks Witt as the Royals’ top prospect. Baseball America echoes that sentiment in their rankings. Whether or not he’ll hit for average is one of the lone concerns with his game, as the rest is fundamentally sound.
Witt comes from a baseball background. He’s got all the intangibles teams look for in a franchise centerpiece. Possessing the raw athleticism to eventually switch positions if needed, he’s fast and has a strong arm for a 6-foot-1, 190-pound kid. Assuming he develops how the team expects, Witt will be a very good MLB player one day.
Here’s to Witt’s steady development over the course of the 2020 season!