Bobby Witt Jr.
Witt with the Omaha Storm Chasers in 2021
Kansas City Royals
Shortstop
Born: (2000-06-14) June 14, 2000 (age 21)
Colleyville, Texas
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Robert Andrew Witt Jr. (born June 14, 2000) is an American professional baseball shortstop in the Kansas City Royals organization. He was selected second overall by the Royals in the 2019 Major League Baseball draft.

Amateur career

Witt attended Colleyville Heritage High School in Colleyville, Texas.[1] He committed to play college baseball at the University of Oklahoma.[2] As a junior in 2018, he batted .446 with ten home runs.[3] That summer, he won the High School Home Run Derby at Nationals Park.[4] Later in the summer, he also played in the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game at Wrigley Field where he hit a home run[5] and was named team MVP[6] as well as the Perfect Game All-American Classic at Petco Park.[7] In December, he played for Team USA in Panama City during the 2018 COPABE Pan-American Championships, helping Team USA win a gold medal.[8] In 2019, his senior year, he was named the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year after batting .515 with 15 home runs, 54 RBIs, and 17 stolen bases.[9]

Professional career

Witt was considered one of the top prospects for the 2019 Major League Baseball draft.[10] He was selected by the Kansas City Royals with the second overall pick. He signed for $7.79 million,[11] and made his professional debut with the Rookie-level Arizona League Royals. Over 37 games, he batted .262/.317/.354 with one home run, 27 RBIs, and nine stolen bases.[12]

Witt did not play a minor league game in 2020 due to the cancellation of the minor league season caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.[13] To begin the 2021 season, he was assigned to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals of the Double-A Central.[14] In June, he was selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game at Coors Field.[15] After batting .292/.369/.570 with 16 home runs, fifty RBIs, and 14 stolen bases over sixty games, he was promoted to the Omaha Storm Chasers of the Triple-A East.[16] Over 62 games with Omaha, Witt slashed .285/.352/.581 with 17 home runs, 46 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases.[17] He was awarded both the USA Today Minor League Player of the Year Award and the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year Award.[18][19]

Personal life

Witt's father, Bobby Witt, played parts of 16 seasons as a pitcher in MLB. Bobby Witt Sr. is a current player agent with Octagon Baseball and is his son's advisor.[20]

References

  1. ^ "Colleyville Heritage's Bobby Witt makes 18U National team trials". Fort Worth-Star Telegram. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  2. ^ "Top prospect Bobby Witt Jr. might not make it to OU". The Oklahoman. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  3. ^ "From Witt To Witt". Baseball America. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  4. ^ "Projected top '19 pick Witt wins HS HR Derby". MLB.com. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  5. ^ "Local baseball star shines at Under Armour All-American game". Fort Worth-Star Telegram. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  6. ^ "Local phenom, a potential No. 1 MLB Draft pick, shines in showcase at Globe Life Park". Fort Worth-Star Telegram. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  7. ^ "How Bobby Witt Jr., son of former Ranger, became the 2019 amateur draft's darling prospect after national showcase tour". SportsDay. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  8. ^ "Potential No. 1 pick in MLB Draft, TCU signee help Team USA bring home gold". Fort Worth-Star Telegram. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  9. ^ "Texas Rangers legend surprises top high school player, Bobby Witt, with national award". Fort Worth-Star Telegram. May 29, 2019.
  10. ^ "2019 PROSPECT WATCH".
  11. ^ "Bobby Witt Jr., No. 2 overall pick in MLB Draft, signs with Royals for full slot value". The Kansas City Star. June 12, 2019.
  12. ^ "KC Royals: Top prospect rewind, infielder Bobby Witt Jr". December 27, 2019.
  13. ^ "2020 Minor League Baseball season canceled". MLB.com.
  14. ^ "Royals top prospect headlines Naturals roster". 5newsonline.com. May 3, 2021.
  15. ^ "Futures Game rosters are STACKED". MLB.com.
  16. ^ "Royals promote Bobby Witt Jr., Nick Pratto to AAA". KSHB. July 19, 2021.
  17. ^ "Bobby Baseball: Royals prospect Bobby Witt Jr. named 2021 Minor League Player of the Year". October 4, 2021.
  18. ^ Birch, Tommy. "Royals prospect Bobby Witt Jr. wins Minor League Player of the Year award". USA TODAY.
  19. ^ Collazo, Carlos. "Bobby Witt Jr.: 2021 Minor League Player Of The Year". www.baseballamerica.com.
  20. ^ Ron Morris (May 22, 2019). "Now An Agent, Bobby Witt Remains On The Players' Side". Baseball America. Retrieved May 30, 2019.