Since the start of June, Royals’ sensation Bobby Witt Jr. has been one of the very best players in baseball. Through the first couple of weeks in July, only a handful of players could argue they’ve been better.
The rangy 23-year-old is enjoying a full-fledged superstar breakout and looks every bit the franchise cornerstone fans imagined when he made his debut last year. If he maintains this level of production, his growth will be the lasting positive of one of the worst seasons in franchise history.
Bobby Witt Jr’s Superstar Breakout
Bobby Witt Jr. is the sort of homegrown star Royals fans have craved since Salvador Perez burst onto the scene and he’s starting to deliver on that promise. For the season, he’s hitting .257 with a .756 OPS, 16 home runs, 51 RBI and 27 stolen bases.
Over the last six weeks though, his production boomed to the stratosphere. He’s hitting .308 in 162 plate appearances since June 1. Isolate that production to the last few weeks and his hot streak is even more apparent.
His speed, power, and versatility allows Witt Jr. to cause damage in a variety of ways. He could blast a home run, shoot a double through the gap, or rake a single then steal a couple of bases.
The baserunning makes life easier on his teammates as well, with Witt Jr. causing a distraction for the pitcher. If he maintains this breakout, Witt Jr. will be considered one of the better players in the American League entering next season and a candidate worthy of a six-figure extension.
After struggling at the plate for stretches during last year, this breakout is a fantastic sign for the Royals and gives them a franchise cornerstone heading into next year. He’ll be the player I’m watching the most over these last couple of months.
It’s been a miserable season for baseball in Kansas City, but Witt Jr. represents the light at the end of the tunnel. For our sake, let’s hope he keeps shining.