Bobby Witt Jr. has been one of the stars of Spring Training, as the highly-touted prospect has wowed teammates and observers at the Royals’ camp. As a result, Dayton Moore is “very much open-minded of him being on this team as we break this camp,” the Kansas City general manager told Fantasy Alarm’s Jim Bowden in an interview Tuesday. (MLB.com’s Anne Rogers has a partial transcript.)
“I’m not going to make an advanced decision now, but we’re just going to let the player tell us” with his work, Moore said. “Right now, we don’t have to pick our roster. But the fact that Bobby Witt is still in camp and [manager Mike Matheny] continues to play him, and the most important thing is we all know he’s earned the respect — a young talented player with a lot of hype around him who’s earned the respect of his teammates.”
Since being selected second overall in the 2019 draft, Witt has appeared in only 37 professional games, all with the Royals’ rookie league affiliate in 2019 (.262/.317/.354 in 180 PA). Even after impressing at the Royals’ alternate training site last summer and continuing that performance into the spring, Witt would still be making a big jump in going from rookie ball to the majors at age 20. While the Opening Day lineup might be a bit of a reach, there is certainly an increasing chance that Witt could make his MLB debut before the 2021 season is out.
More from the AL Central…
- Jorge Polanco was removed from Tuesday’s game due to left adductor tightness, but Twins manager Rocco Baldelli thinks Polanco should be removed after “maybe a few days.” Baldelli told MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park and other reporters that Polanco was initially hurt after an awkward landing on the baseball while trying to field a grounder, and the decision was made to take Polanco out two innings later when he reported some tightness while running out a ground ball. With Andrelton Simmons taking over as Minnesota’s shortstop, Polanco is expected to move from his old shortstop position and get the bulk of playing time at second base.
- Wily Peralta signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in February but hasn’t yet arrived at camp due to visa issues. Unsurprisingly, manager A.J. Hinch told The Detroit News’ Chris McCosky and other reporters that the delay will cost Peralta a shot at making the Tigers’ Opening Day roster. Since being released by the Royals in July 2019, Peralta hasn’t pitched anywhere apart from an eight-game stint in the Dominican Winter League, so his attempt at reviving his career will now move to Detroit’s minor league camp when he eventually gets to the United States.
- In other AL Central news from earlier today, both the White Sox (link) and Indians (link) have interest in extending some of their top players.