The baby-faced young star the Royals selected second overall in the MLB Draft less than three full years ago as the best high school player in the country has now arrived at the doorstep of the Major Leagues with even more momentum behind his name and his game.
Bobby Witt, Jr. is set to make his debut for the Royals, and most importantly, begin his journey to turn the Royals’ fortunes around.
“It’s very special. It’s special for the game. It’s special for our city. It’s special for the history of the Royals,” Royals president of baseball operations Dayton Moore said on Wednesday following a team workout at Kauffman Stadium. “It’s very meaningful for our front office. You’ve heard me say many times, the majority of our group started as scouts and coaches. So we understand the evolution of player. We understand how difficult it is to make it to the major leagues.”
Witt, is ranked No. 2 in ESPN’s top prospects for the 2022 season, was given the news Tuesday that he would be starting by Royals manager Mike Matheny and general manager J.J. Picollo.
“All the guys were congratulating me,” Witt told reporters, according to MLB.com. “I can’t really put words to the feeling how it was. My stomach sank. Tears came to my eyes. It’s something I’ll never forget.”
Witt, Jr. will most likely start at third base and make his debut with the Royals on Thursday against Cleveland at Kauffman Stadium. And in doing so, he makes even more history: at 21 years, 297 days old, Witt will become the youngest position player in Royals history to make his major-league debut on Opening Day.
Most projections have the Royals going anywhere from 74-88 to 82-80. Most of the hype revolves around the youth in the lineup, most notably Witt, Jr. and the return of ace Zack Greinke. Being in a division full of struggling and/or rebuilding teams, the Royals have a great chance this season to surprise a lot of people.