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).
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).
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.
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.