SS Bobby Witt Jr. Drafted No. 2 Overall by Royals in 2019 MLB DraftJune 3, 2019
Texas high school star Bobby Witt Jr. was taken No. 2 overall by the Kansas City Royals in the 2019 MLB draft on Monday.
The 18-year-old previously committed to play college ball for the Oklahoma Sooners.
The son of former major league pitcher Bobby Witt (the third overall pick in 1985), the Colleyville Heritage High School shortstop has shown the ability to be an impact player at the plate and on the mound. His future as a pro, however, figures to be as a position player.
MLB.com rated Witt as a 60 overall on baseball's traditional 20-80 scale, with his power (55), speed (60), fielding (60) and arm (60) all above-average tools. He is viewed as a potential five-star prospect.
According to MaxPreps, Witt Jr. hit .496 with 15 home runs, 14 doubles, nine triples and 55 RBI in 39 games during his senior season.
He was just one of two high school players nominated for the Golden Spikes award, given to the top amateur player in the country, this year, though he wasn't a finalist
Being viewed as one of the top prospects in this year's draft class has fueled the teenager for some time now.
"It's almost like motivation for me," Witt Jr. said in June 2018, per MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. "Other kids out there, they put a target on me to try and be better than me. So I always have to be working hard every day just to get better and keep that spot. It's almost like a goal to have, keeping that spot, trying to be the best player out there on and off the field."
With the Royals coming off a 58-win season in 2018, Witt will be viewed as the face of the franchise's rebuild.
Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain are nothing but distant memories for Kansas City at this point. The team was able to boost its farm system in last year's draft, adding pitchers Brady Singer (the team's No. 1 prospect), Jackson Kowar (No. 7) and Daniel Lynch (No. 2) in the first 34 picks.
Witt, just the second position player taken by the Royals in the first round since 2014, gives the organization a high-upside bat to complement its pitching depth.
The jury is still out on the Royals' recent top draft picks, but the addition of Witt will help improve a farm system that was unable to crack MLB.com's top 10 prior to the start of the 2019 season.