The Kansas City Royals aren’t the best team in the AL Central by any means, but they do have some things going on for them that maybe, just maybe, can result in a franchise revival in 2022.
They have a solid double-play combo in Adalberto Mondesi and Nicky Lopez, they brought in veteran Zack Greinke, they traded for solid left-handed reliever Amir Garrett, and they also have a good, solid outfielder in Andrew Benintendi.
They have Salvador Perez and his 48 home runs in 2021 as the starting catcher, and several young pitchers in the way of contributing.
Their most valuable chip, however, is an infielder: Bobby Witt Jr.
Recently crowned as MLB Pipeline’s top prospect in baseball, Witt will likely be the Royals’ third baseman to open the season.
He is way too talented to imagine him crashing in his debut season, and while he carries the risk of being a prospect and having to make adjustments to face the best pitchers in the world, he has shown during his professional career that he can cope with failure.
An Extraordinary Young Talent
In 2019, for example, he hit a putrid .262/.317/.354 in Rookie ball.
But he worked hard to improve in the pandemic, and showed up ready to make some noise in 2021.
Some thought the Royals would call him up last year, but they opted to keep him in the high minors.
He responded by hitting .295/.369/.570 in Double-A and .285/.352/.581 in Triple-A.
Scouts see him as a 70 prospect, on a scale of 20-80.
That’s insanely good, and shows how talented he is: they have him as a 60 with the bat, with 70-power and 60-speed.
.@BwittJr is a five-tool player.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) March 23, 2022
He should be the best candidate to win the AL Rookie of the Year award.