Atta boy, Bobby! Witt clubs 484-foot homer

March 9th, 2021

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals manager Mike Matheny kept mostly a straight face when he was asked what he was thinking as he saw launch a home run a projected 484 feet on Monday afternoon at Surprise Stadium.

“It was all wind,” Matheny said, with a slight grin sneaking through. “That’s what I told Bobby.”

Matheny followed up a few seconds later: “Yeah, he found the barrel. There’s no doubt about it.”

The No. 7 prospect in baseball and Kansas City's top prospect per MLB Pipeline was at it again during the Royals’ 10-3 win over the A’s on Monday, launching his second home run of the spring. His first homer was to dead center field on Saturday against the Giants.

This one landed on the concourse in left-center field.

Witt has played in eight of the Royals’ nine Cactus League games, hitting 6-for-17 with 12 total bases and six RBIs. He shows something different each game, whether it’s his power, his contact skills, his speed or his defense.

Witt's talent has earned praise from everyone around the organization, including Chiefs quarterback and Royals minority owner Patrick Mahomes in a tweet on Monday.

“I think the 15 tools that he has?” starter , who struck out five and allowed one run in three innings Monday, said when asked about what impresses him the most about Witt. “He’s unbelievable. It’s not even on the field -- obviously you guys see that -- but off the field, the kid’s unbelievable. He’s so mature for his age. I think on the field speaks for itself, but off the field, he’s just an incredible guy.”

The No. 2 overall MLB Draft pick in 2019, Witt is just 20 years old and hasn’t played above Rookie ball. But he showed his potential in Summer Camp last year and throughout the summer at the Royals’ alternate training site. And now he’s going toe-to-toe with the Major League club in Spring Training.

“When I was 20, I was at Stephen F. Austin, just grinding, and he’s just making it look easy up here,” third baseman said. “He’s such a talented kid. He’s an even better guy. He’s fun to watch. He does something every game that surprises you, and it’s going to be fun to watch that kid.”

This past weekend, Witt couldn’t wipe the smile off his face when describing how much fun he’s having this Spring Training. He emphasized that he’s trying to be himself and help the Royals win each game he’s in.

The way Witt is accomplishing that puts him on a fast track.

“I think it goes along with trying to go out and win,” Witt said Saturday. “If there’s a winner on the team, they’re going to try to put them in the lineup. And that’s what I’m going to do each and every day, try to help the team as much as possible. Just go out there and be myself, but also try to make some decisions hard.”

Worth noting
• The top of Kansas City's lineup oozed production Monday, with the regulars hitting three home runs. Dozier cranked a solo shot to left field, and hit his first as a Royal, crushing a pitch 410 feet to right field. hit his first of the spring, too. knocked two doubles, and singled and walked in his two plate appearances.

“We just have such good depth,” Dozier said. “Our whole lineup is put together really well. We’re going to be a tough team to play against. One through nine, we’re putting together really good at-bats. When you have Whit and Mondi swinging it like they are, and then Salvy and Santana. [Jorge] Soler wasn’t even in the lineup today.”

• It will still be a few days until outfielder sees his first Cactus League action this year after signing a one-year deal with the Royals on Friday, Matheny said.

• The Royals got in three innings of intrasquad work after their seven-inning game Monday, with Angel Zerpa, Scott Blewett, Andres Sotillet and Erick Skoglund all pitching.