With the 2nd pick in the MLB First Year Player Draft the Kansas City Royals selected highly touted shortstop Bobby Witt, Jr. out of Colleyville, Texas. Viewed by some as a potential generational talent, Witt has maintained his lofty status atop various high school player rankings for years. He’s almost unanimously ranked by scouting services as the second best player in the class behind Oregon State catcher, Adley Rutchman.
Starting out with Witt’s history, there isn’t a high school player in this class that can match his pedigree or resume:
Rankings(Overall)/Ratings(Hit/Power/Run/Throw/Defense – 20/80 Scale)
- Fangraphs: 2nd Overall. 50-60-60-55-60.
- MLB Pipeline: 2nd Overall. 50-55-60-60-60.
- Baseball America: 2nd Overall.
- Perfect Game: 2nd Overall.
- 2080 Baseball: 2nd Overall.
- Prospects Live: 2nd Overall.
The son of former major league pitcher Bobby Witt, Sr., the younger made his splash early as a prep. In December of 2016, Bobby made his debut at the top of the 2019 Top Draft Prospects board put out by Perfect Game. He’s had success at the high school level as well as the summer camp showcase, highlighted by playing in the Perfect Game All-American Game, the Under Armour Game and representing the Red, White and Blue with Team USA. During his senior season (still in progress), Witt’s batting average has hovered around .500 with plenty of power (15 HR in 39 games).
Tools wise, the 6’1” 185 lb Witt likely has the best all around set in the entire draft. The speed is great, he’s recorded 60 yard times in the 6.4 range in camp settings. It’s the kind of speed and athleticism that will play in the field and on the bases. Speaking of the field, Witt has the look of a strong defensive player that will be able to play up the middle OR move to a position of need should the make up of the big league roster necessitate it. He displays solid range and a strong throwing arm, where he’s been known to touch the mid 90s when he steps on the mound. In regards to his ability at the plate, Witt is regarded as a power over hit player. That said, most scouts that saw him this Spring feel that the hit tool will be at least average down the line, with the ability to hit 30 HR or more once his frame fills out.
The second overall pick is slotted to be worth roughly $7.8 million dollars, if Witt signs for the slot bonus that will leave Royals with roughly $5.3 million left to sign the remaining picks in the first 10 rounds. Witt won’t be as quick to the bigs as a college player, but if everything goes right, you could see him making an appearance by 2022. Look for Witt to get his start in Rookie level Burlington or perhaps a shot at Lexington.
Leading up to the draft, many insiders had speculated that the Royals valued Witt above every player eligible. Dayton Moore and company got their man, that’s some thing that should make all Royals fans extremely excited.
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