The Kansas City Royals fell back down to earth after the team's World Series victory in 2015. With many of the faces of that championship team having left, the Royals opted to begin rebuilding the roster. Perhaps the key figure for Kansas City's future is 2019 second overall pick Bobby Witt Jr., who's already made a good impression on his team.
On the very first day of Royals summer camp, Witt had a memorable 12-pitch at-bat against a major league pitcher, culminating in the shortstop prospect hitting a one-hopper off the right field wall. No one was more excited to see this than his manager, Mike Matheny.
“You watch young guys come here like him, and he has just so much excitement and such a bounce in his step,” Matheny said, via Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com. “You can’t step into a cage against a Major League pitcher and put together a solid at-bat like that without doing a ton of work leading up to it.”
Matheny wouldn't out the pitcher who surrendered the hit to the youngster, which you have to respect. But you can tell that the Royals skipper cannot wait to have Witt in his everyday lineup in the near future.
Witt initially wasn't invited to spring training earlier this year, but after the months-long delay to the 2020 season caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Matheny opted to add him to the 60-man player pool. The move was made for developing Witt instead of having him sit at home, due to the cancellation of the minor league season.
It may not be this season, but Witt appears to be on the fast track to make his major league debut very soon after making a new fan in Matheny.