Apr
09
2021

The Next Kansas City Royal: Who Will It Be?

The decision of selecting a prospect to bring up to the highest level of baseball is vital to a clubs future. Furthermore, you can hope and pray that your decision will prove to be the next Mike Trout or Bryce Harper. However, that isn’t always the case. For some clubs this choice can make or break a season.

For the Royals, their selection of MLB prospects is leaning towards a name that Royals fans are already familiar with… Bobby Witt Jr:

WHO IS BOBBY WITT JR?

First, Witt was a star in high school, hitting a plethora of homers and RBI’s. Witt ultimately would forego college to go pro despite a commitment to OU. Most importantly, Witt entered the 2019 draft as a highly-touted prospect landing at number two overall to the Royals. Witt competed for the Arizona League Royals in 2019 at the Rookie ball level where he posted decent stats.

WHY BOBBY WITT JR?

When it comes to moving up in the farm system, Witt has had the short end of the stick so far. Witt did not compete in minor league ball in any capacity in 2020 but no one did thanks to COVID. That being said, he must prove it being he was the number two overall pick. In Spring Training this year, Witt played surprisingly well hitting .289 with three homers and displayed his defensive skills. In the future, Witt can provide positive upside both with his batting and his defense should he get the opportunity.

WHY NOT BOBBY WITT JR?

Unfortunately for Witt, with only 37 rookie ball games, none in 2020, and only Spring Training this year, he has little experience. In baseball, experience is everything and without it, one good Spring isn’t enough yet. Sure, he can hit and his defense showed but his natural position is currently filled by Nicky Lopez until Adalberto Mondesi returns.

Based on all of that, the best thing for Witt is being sent down to the minors. As of right now, at only 20 years old, Witt needs to only focus on getting that minor’s experience overall and getting his bat speed up.

Despite the downsides that Witts’s inexperience brings, it also allows the Royals to groom their number two pick in many ways. Sending Witt down prevents his “full contract” from starting and allows wiggle room. So, a number two pick, with time to grow and money to save, should he continue to play well, sounds like a deal to me.

IF NOT WITT JR, WHO THEN?

If Witt is not next in line to sport the blue Kansas City across his chest, then who is? Considering that Mondesi should take Nicky Lopez’s spot once he returns from IL, Lopez makes a lot of sense. Should Mondesi’s injury continue to linger, Lopez will more than likely be next as he was the opening series starter and will be going forward. Lopez is batting .368 ranking third-best on the team and he is no stranger to playing on the big stage.

Lopez saw the field quite a bit in 2019 where he batted .240 and then saw more action in 2020 batting .201. When you compare Lopez to any other player with minor league action, he brings the most to the table.

One final option, pick any of the pitchers sitting in AA or AAA because bullpens are ever-changing and you can never have enough pitchers. Unfortunately, the Royals pitcher heavy draft in 2020, features arms that won’t see the MLB for a bit. Arms like the Royals 2020 1st round pick Asa Lacy are playing rookie ball to gain command and become more solid arms for the future.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Bobby Witt Jr is prospect number one for Kansas City. He will probably stay there unless he falls short in the minors. Names like Nicky Lopez or even the current right fielder Kyle Isbel present the best cases to get multiple calls this year. If I’m the Royals, let Witt develop, find him a spot to try him out at in the big show. Finally, keep molding more future bullpen and starting pitchers in the farm system, they’re valuable. With the combo of future big bats and long-term pitchers, the future could be very bright for the Royals.

  1. Bobby Witt Jr
  2. Nicky Lopez (depending on Mondesi injury)
  3. The next pitcher that will help

Stats from ESPN.com, MLB.com and CBSSports.com