3 important things the KC Royals should do right now
The KC Royals should pronounce Bobby Witt Jr. a major leaguer without delay.
Bobby Witt Jr. is a big league legacy, the son and namesake of an accomplished starting pitcher who enjoyed a 16-season career before retiring 20 years ago. The son, a can’t miss five-tool player Kansas City took with the second overall selection in the 2019 draft, promises to be better than the father.
Now, the time has come for Witt Jr. to step on the major league stage. He’s done everything he can in 160 minor league games and has nothing left to prove on the farm. After spending 2019 in Rookie ball and 2020 at Kansas City’s Alternate Training Site, Witt overcame a slow 2021 start at Double-A Northwest Arkansas by hitting 16 homers, driving in 51 runs, and slashing .295/.369/.570 in 61 games to earn a well-deserved promotion to Triple-A Omaha.
Witt didn’t miss a beat with the Storm Chasers, clubbing 17 more home runs and slashing .285/.352/.581 with 46 RBIs in 62 games.
The Royals haven’t publicly committed to including Witt in their Opening Day lineup next season, but even though it’s a bit unorthodox, they should so now. Waiting to see how he performs in spring training is irrelevant because he’ll frequently face the plethora of young, untested prospects big league teams utilize heavily in the spring.
The presence of Nicky Lopez at shortstop and probably Whit Merrifield at second means Witt, a shortstop by trade, may start his big league career at third base. But wherever he plays, his time needs to be now, and the Royals need to declare it so. That message is important.