Bobby Witt Jr. enters the 2020 season as the KC Royals’ top prospect. Will he be able to live up to the hype moving forward?
There hasn’t been this much hype for a KC Royals prospect in some time, but Bobby Witt Jr. is doing his best to live up to it. The Gatorade 2018-19 National Player of the Year was a phenom in high school and was taken second overall by the Royals in last year’s MLB Amateur Draft. He’s the son of a former major league player, meaning baseball runs in his blood.
Witt boasts a tantalizing combination of speed, defense, power and potential. He’s been labeled a true five-tool prospect with hopes he can one day be a perennial All-Star. Let’s hope that’s true for the sake of the Royals.
In 37 games of Rookie-level ball last year, Witt posted a .262/.317/.354 line with 27 RBIs. He also stole nine bases and showed off the glove at shortstop. While the peripheral numbers — along with a strikeout total of 35 — are far from ideal, they’re respectable nonetheless. Especially considering he was just 19 years of age. Here are some possible scenarios for how his career with the Royals will unfold:
Witt puts it all together at the plate. The power shows up, the strikeouts go away and he begins to make consistent contact while driving the baseball to all areas of the park. The speed and defense are going to be there regardless, but how well he produces at the plate will be the difference between a solid career and a great one. In this scenario, Witt is prolific as a hitter and debuts either in late 2021 or early 2022, kickstarting an amazing 10-year stretch with the KC Royals.
Witt has a high floor because of his natural athletic ability. At the very worst, he’ll be a high-risk hitter that can play terrific defense and steal bases. Even if he never taps into the immense power potential he has and learns to cut down on the strikeouts, he’ll be put onto the field in trial-and-error situations. Think Adalberto Mondesi in his first couple seasons, but with a higher batting average.
Most likely outcome:
While some expect Witt to become a superstar, I’m not quite sold. With that said, I do think he’ll be a very good MLB player. It’ll be interesting to see if he sticks at shortstop or moves to third base — or perhaps even the outfield. He’s a ton of fun to watch and assuming he matures at the plate, he could be one of the best players at his position one day. That’s what the KC Royals should be banking on.
It’s going to be an awesome next couple of seasons watching Bobby Witt Jr. advance through the Royals’ minor league system. Here’s to him blowing my expectations out of the water and turning into the amazing player many project him to be!