KC Royals phenom Bobby Witt Jr. joins Home Run Derby field

The Texan heads home for hammerin' homers.
Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

The KC Royals will be well represented during the coming All-Star festivities in Arlington, Texas. From the traditional All-Star Game to the Futures Game, Kansas City will have several representatives. Now, Texas native Bobby Witt Jr. will leave a more emphatic stamp on his first All-Star selection by joining the eight-man field for the T-Mobile Home Run Derby.

Bobby Witt Jr. joins elite company in modern MLB, KC Royals history.

The Royals shortstop is now the fourth player to announce their derby participation, joining the New York Mets' Pete Alonso, the Philadelphia Phillies' Alec Bohm, and the Baltimore Orioles' Gunnar Henderson. Witt is known for his elite speed across MLB, but this is a unique opportunity to showcase the raw power Royals fans witness consistently.

Witt is only the fifth Royals player to participate in the Home Run Derby, following in the footsteps of catcher Salvador Perez, who did so in 2021. The 24-year-old shortstop sought the veteran's advice before committing to the event, and Perez had an emphatic response.

“How did your body feel? What did you think?” Witt said this to MLB.com's Anne Rogers. “He’s like, ‘You have to do it; you have to do it. Talking to Sal, the training staff, coaching staff, and teammates too, they’re all for me doing it. I wanted their OK. And it’s an honor to be asked to do that and represent the Royals.”

Witt has excelled in representing the Royals this season, both on and off the field, showcasing his significant impact. His .324/.372/.564 line indicates a career-best trajectory, with 15 home runs and 22 stolen bases, positioning him for another exceptional season akin to his 30/49 achievement in 2023. Witt may not have a staggering home run total like his opponents, but he would have 20 home runs already if he played every 2024 game in Globe Life Field.

The fact that Witt's inaugural All-Star trip takes place in the home of the Texas Rangers adds a poignant layer of meaning to the occasion. The Texas Rangers drafted Bobby Witt third overall in 1985, and he spent 11 of his 16 MLB seasons playing for the franchise. The familial bond becomes even more significant during the derby, as Witt's brother-in-law, James Russell, will pitch to him during his derby performance.

“I’m just going to enjoy it, because you never know when you get these opportunities,” Witt said. “Make these things last a lifetime. Enjoy it with family and friends and have fun.”

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