The Royals have agreed to a full slot deal with their first-round selection Bobby Witt Jr., per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The 18-year-old, who was chosen second overall, will receive a $7,789,900 bonus to sign with the Royals.
Witt, often touted as the second-best player in his class and the top high-school prospect in the class, is regarded as a “potential five-tool shortstop,” per MLB.com. Hailing from Colleyville Heritage High School in Texas, Witt’s father played 16 years in the big leagues, and the junior Witt is said to possess a strong arm and defensive instincts that should allow him to stick at shortstop and provide potentially plus defense. His offensive profile is fueled by impressive power that could make him a 20-20 player in the future, but there are some concerns about his ability to hit for average stemming from the swing-and-miss in his game.
With his signing, Witt slides into a crop of impressive young infielders for the rebuilding Royals, joining Adalberto Mondesi, Nicky Lopez, and Hunter Dozier as some of the promising youngsters for Kansas City. While general manager Dayton Moore likely views Mondesi, who has turned heads with his play since the second half of last season, as a building block and shortstop of the future, that is not in consideration when drafting a talent like Witt, who plays the same position. Witt strengthens a mediocre Royals farm system that looks to be on the rise following the addition of Witt and the strength of last year’s draft class, headlined by Brady Singer.