Witt Jr. tops Royals' list of 21 non-roster invitees

March 13th, 2022

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Ahead of Sunday’s official report date for Spring Training, the Royals announced 21 non-roster invitees who will participate in big league camp over the next few weeks.

And top prospect Bobby Witt Jr. headlines the list.

Witt Jr. will compete for a spot in the Royals’ Opening Day infield, likely either at shortstop or third base. He put on a show last Spring Training before the Royals assigned him to Double-A Northwest Arkansas to begin the season. He ended 2021 at Triple-A Omaha and finished the season with a .290/.361/.575 slash line, 33 home runs and 29 stolen bases.

Now, he’s one step away from making his Major League debut.

Witt Jr. isn’t the only one competing for an Opening Day spot or hoping to get significant time with the big league team. All of the non-roster invitees have been participating in Minor League Spring Training for the past few weeks.

Here is the full list of the Royals’ non-roster invitees:

Pitchers (8): RHP Colten Brewer, LHP Austin Cox, RHP Jose Cuas, LHP Josh Dye, LHP Foster Griffin, RHP Brad Peacock, RHP Jace Vines, RHP Arodys Vizcaíno

Catchers (4): Tyler Cropley, Kale Emshoff, Freddy Fermin, Logan Porter

Infielders (5): Witt Jr., Gabriel Cancel, Iván Castillo, Clay Dungan, Vinnie Pasquantino

Outfielders (4): Dairon Blanco, Nate Eaton, Brewer Hicklen, JaCoby Jones

Witt Jr. (No. 1), Cox (No. 12) and Pasquantino (No. 17) are the ranked prospects who will appear in camp, per MLB Pipeline’s list. First baseman Nick Pratto (No. 2) and catcher MJ Melendez (No. 4) are already on the Royals’ 40-man roster.

Included in this list are 13 players who were originally signed or drafted by Kansas City -- and five of the 21 invitees are new to the organization this season after the Royals signed them to Minor League contracts this winter, including Brewer, Peacock, Vizcaíno, Castillo and Jones.