KC Royals News: Bobby Witt Jr. makes the big club

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

KC Royals fans wanted it to happen out of spring training last year.

They clamored for it during the 2021 season.

They expect it Thursday when the Royals open their 2022 campaign Thursday at Kauffman Stadium.

And now they’re going to get it. The Royals just announced the promotion of Bobby Witt Jr. to the major leagues.

The news that Witt will break spring camp and head north with the club for its Thursday afternoon opener against Cleveland isn’t so much “new” news as it is official confirmation of what various outlets have reported via sources for the past few days. Any doubt that Witt’s debut is imminent has been erased.

And with good reason. Witt, who’ll turn just 22 in June, boasts a .406/.441/.781 Cactus League line with three home runs and eight RBIs in 12 Cactus League games. But with spring training being spring training—especially this year, when hitters seem to be ahead of pitchers—the better indication that the club’s No. 1 MLB Pipeline prospect is ready for the big leagues is his 2021 minor league performance.

KC Royals prospect Bobby Witt Jr. earned his way to the Opening Day roster.

After playing just one year of Rookie ball and spending the short 2020 campaign at the Royals’ Alternate Training Site as a member of their 60-man Player Pool, Witt started the season at Northwest Arkansas, where he quickly mastered Double-A pitching with the .295 average and 16 homers in 61 games that spurred his July promotion to Triple-A Omaha.

Witt didn’t disappoint the Storm Chasers—he clubbed 17 homers and hit .285 in 63 games. His season of 33 homers, 97 RBIs and a .290/.361/.576 line was good enough to win Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year and Kansas City’s George Brett Minor League Hitter of the Year awards.

Although Witt isn’t in manager Mike Matheny’s starting lineup for today’s final Cactus League contest against the Brewers (Twitter link), fans won’t have to wait much longer to get their first look at him in a big league contest at The K. That will come Thursday at 3:10 p.m.—expect Witt to be at third base when Zack Greinke throws the first pitch of the 2022 season.

Looking back at Jim Eisenreich. dark. Next

Bobby Witt Jr. is a big leaguer.