Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Pipeline

Royals take SS Witt Jr. with second overall pick

@FlannyMLB
June 4, 2019

KANSAS CITY – As expected, the Royals used their No. 2 pick in the Draft to select Texas high school shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., the son of former Major League pitcher Bobby Witt. Witt, from Colleyville, Texas, hit .489 this year with more home runs (15) than strikeouts (11). •

KANSAS CITY – As expected, the Royals used their No. 2 pick in the Draft to select Texas high school shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., the son of former Major League pitcher Bobby Witt.

Witt, from Colleyville, Texas, hit .489 this year with more home runs (15) than strikeouts (11).

Draft Tracker: Complete pick-by-pick coverage

General manager Dayton Moore said in a conference call that the Royals scouted Witt for virtually every inning he played during his senior year. Moore also said he spent two days with Witt and his family about a month ago.

“Very impressed with his makeup,” Moore said.

Witt said that he and his father teared up after the Royals made the pick.

“It was emotional,” Witt said in a conference call. “This is something I’ve dreamed about. I’m super-excited. I’m at a loss for words right now.”

The only other times the Royals had the No. 2 pick, they chose Alex Gordon (2005) and Mike Moustakas (2007).

In the second round, the Royals took Florida shortstop Brady McConnell with the 44th pick. With the 70th pick, the Royals took right-hander Alec Marsh from Arizona State.

Witt, 18, is six feet and 180 pounds, and was ranked the No. 2 overall Draft prospect by MLB Pipeline. He was the Gatorade 2019 national high school player of the year.

"Alex Rodriguez is the best shortstop prospect I've seen, but Bobby Witt Jr. certainly belongs right up there," a longtime scout, now with a NL club, recently told MLB Pipeline. "He can match up with guys toolswise, and what he also has is a high baseball IQ. People lose sight of it because the tools are so strong, but he's a really good player to go with it."

The Royals also view Witt as a versatile player who could be moved around defensively, perhaps even to the outfield. The Royals have budding star Adalberto Mondesi at shortstop, Nicky Lopez at second base and Hunter Dozier at third base for the foreseeable future.

“I feel like I can play any position they want me to play,” Witt said. “That’s up to them.”

“He is a very versatile player, no doubt,” Moore said.

As the No. 2 pick, Witt’s assigned slot value will be $7,789,900.

McConnell, 21, is 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, and is projected to play multiple positions.

MLB Pipeline said of McConnell: “McConnell's offensive profile stands out the most. The 6-foot-3 infielder has the chance to hit at the next level with a knack for barreling up the baseball that's been on display all spring. He's added strength to his wiry frame, and he's showing more ability to drive the ball, with the chance for future average power. A good athlete and plus runner, McConnell can steal a base as well.”

Of Marsh, MLB Pipeline said, “Marsh has four pitches, all of which he can throw for strikes. While he'll typically sit around 92 mph, he can get his fastball up to 96 mph consistently and throws his heater with solid cut and sink. His slider, thrown 78-83 mph, is better than his curve, thrown with more power and with the ability to land it in the strike zone and then out of the zone to get hitters to chase. He has feel for a changeup as well.”

The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET. Go to MLB.com/Draft for complete coverage, including every pick on Draft Tracker, coverage and analysis from MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft and @MLBDraftTracker on Twitter.

Witt, 18, is six feet and 180 pounds, and was ranked the No. 2 overall Draft prospect by MLB Pipeline. He was the Gatorade 2019 national high school player of the year.

"Alex Rodriguez is the best shortstop prospect I've seen, but Bobby Witt Jr. certainly belongs right up there," a longtime scout, now with a NL club, recently told MLB Pipeline. "He can match up with guys toolswise, and what he also has is a high baseball IQ. People lose sight of it because the tools are so strong, but he's a really good player to go with it."

The Royals also view Witt as a versatile player who could be moved around defensively, perhaps even to the outfield. The Royals have budding star Adalberto Mondesi at shortstop, Nicky Lopez at second base and Hunter Dozier at third base for the foreseeable future.

“I feel like I can play any position they want me to play,” Witt said. “That’s up to them.”

“He is a very versatile player, no doubt,” Moore said.

As the No. 2 pick, Witt’s assigned slot value will be $7,789,900.

McConnell, 21, is 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, and is projected to play multiple positions.

MLB Pipeline said of McConnell: “McConnell's offensive profile stands out the most. The 6-foot-3 infielder has the chance to hit at the next level with a knack for barreling up the baseball that's been on display all spring. He's added strength to his wiry frame, and he's showing more ability to drive the ball, with the chance for future average power. A good athlete and plus runner, McConnell can steal a base as well.”

Of Marsh, MLB Pipeline said, “Marsh has four pitches, all of which he can throw for strikes. While he'll typically sit around 92 mph, he can get his fastball up to 96 mph consistently and throws his heater with solid cut and sink. His slider, thrown 78-83 mph, is better than his curve, thrown with more power and with the ability to land it in the strike zone and then out of the zone to get hitters to chase. He has feel for a changeup as well.”

The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET. Go to MLB.com/Draft for complete coverage, including every pick on Draft Tracker, coverage and analysis from MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft and @MLBDraftTracker on Twitter.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.