Royals top prospect Bobby Witt Jr. continues tear, looks set for Triple-A promotion

Saturday, a player for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals had an eye-opening game. The box score shows that he went 4 for 4 with a double, home run, sac fly, stolen base, five RBI and two runs scored. It was quite the stat-stuffer, right? Said player was Bobby Witt Jr., the gem of the Royals‘ farm system who is having quite the tear in Double-A right now. 

Before we dive a bit deeper, let’s admire the home run: 

Witt, 21, was the second overall pick out of high school in the 2019 draft. He was ranked as the 14th-best prospect in baseball back in the spring by CBS Sports prospect expert R.J. Anderson

Witt got off to a slow start in Double-A this season and the concerns about the swing-and-miss in his game were amplified, but just under a month ago he kicked things into gear and has been amazing since. 

On May 29, Witt homered. The following day, he went deep three times. Starting with that May 29 game, Witt has hit .362/.410/.777 with six doubles, three triples, nine homers and 23 RBI in 24 games. Overall, he’s hitting .286/.350/.560 but this hot streak has lasted just about a month and it’s becoming more clear he is likely ready for a promotion. 

The next step would be the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers (that’s an 80-grade nickname, by the way). 

As for the bigger step, the one everyone is waiting for, the Royals don’t really have anyone who should be blocking Witt from taking over the everyday shortstop job in Kansas City. Nicky Lopez is serving that role right now, but he’s not the long-term option. 

Given that the Royals aren’t contending, there really isn’t any reason to rush Witt to The Show right now and start his service-time clock. It is something to watch, however, because with a new CBA coming this offseason, it’s possible there are major changes to how the league deals with service-time manipulation. 

In light of that and Witt’s month-long tear, this is a situation that bears watching. 

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