Witt loses HR by missing home plate

June 9th, 2021

belted his Double-A Central-best 10th home run of the season to dead center field in the first inning on Tuesday night. Four innings later, it looked like he added his 11th.

He forgot the last crucial step -- literally.

It was ruled that Witt missed home plate on his trademark skip when crossing it after what appeared to be his second longball of the night and was out on appeal, counting as a triple instead. Still, baseball’s No. 7 overall prospect put up a big game with his bat, finishing the game a double from the cycle at 3-for-4 with a walk in Northwest Arkansas' 7-6 win at Frisco.

Ironically, home plate was about all that could be missed about Witt’s second would-be homer because the blast itself was a no-doubter. Kansas City’s top prospect hammered the first pitch he saw leading off the fifth over the left-center-field berm at Riders Field and onto a walkway behind it -- an estimated 430 feet according to the Naturals -- appearing to extend his team’s lead to 6-3.

As he trotted down the final steps toward the plate, Witt turned to his right side and shuffled toward the plate, attempting to touch the plate with his left foot. After passing the dish, he briefly glanced back at it and flinched before continuing on to the dugout.

A moment later, with ninth-ranked Royals prospect stepping into the batter’s box, Frisco pitcher Hever Bueno stepped off the rubber and threw to catcher Matt Whatley for the appeal. As Whatley stepped on home plate, Witt was called out by home plate umpire Chris Presley-Murphy. Both Whatley and Presley-Murphy appeared to be watching closely at the plate as Witt crossed it. The decision gave Witt his first triple since Aug. 26, 2019 with the then-Rookie-level AZL Royals.

Pratto followed with a double.

Witt’s first blast came with one out in the first and went off the batter’s eye in center to give his squad the game’s first run. The shortstop added a single to center field in the seventh and stole his eighth base of the season. Home runs have come in bunches for the 20-year-old in recent days. Witt now has six homers in his last seven games including a three-homer performance on May 30 against San Antonio. Though Witt's season-long slash line was just .236/.315/.491 entering play on Tuesday, he had hit .277/.342/.662 over his last 16 games heading into the night.