Monday, May 23, 2022

WATCH: Royals’ Bobby Witt Jr. hits first career MLB home run at Kauffman Stadium

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Kansas City Royals wunderkind Bobby Witt Jr. is in the home run column. Witt launched his first career big league home run Tuesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals. He went down below the zone to golf a Dakota Hudson changeup out to left-center field. It was an impressive piece of hitting.

Here is Witt’s first career home run:

Witt had a strong MLB debut on Opening Day, driving in the game-winning run with a double — his first career hit — in the eighth inning. His bat has been mostly quiet since then, however. Witt, 21, took a .221/.250/.312 batting line into Tuesday’s game. Not every top rookie hits the ground running. Sometimes there’s an adjustment period.

Our R.J. Anderson ranked Witt the No. 2 prospect in baseball coming into the season. Here’s his write-up:

Witt was selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2019 draft, making this the second time he’s finished a step behind Rutschman. That’s no knock on him, however, as he’s a high-grade prospect in his own right. He proved as much by hitting .290/.361/.575 with 33 home runs and 35 doubles across Double- and Triple-A in his first full professional season. There used to be fear that Witt would swing-and-miss too frequently to maximize his loud offensive tools; those concerns haven’t materialized, and he struck out in just 22.5 percent of his Triple-A plate appearances. Factor in an above-average glove, and Witt should accomplish something his father never did over the course of his 16-year big-league career as a pitcher: make an All-Star Game.

Tuesday is Witt’s second game back in the lineup after sitting out with a wrist contusion. He was hit by a pitch over the weekend and was a late scratch Sunday. The wrist is certainly healthy now though. It takes real strength to drive a baseball that far below the zone over the wall, especially at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals took a 7-14 record into Tuesday’s game. They’ve lost nine of their last 11 games.

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