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‘I need it fairly unhealthy’: Witt Jr. eyes 30-30-30

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No. 1 prospect named Royals George Brett Minor League Hitter of the Year

12:15 AM UTC

KANSAS CITY — Bobby Witt Jr. swapped his Storm Chasers jersey for a navy blazer on Friday evening and traveled south from Iowa, the place Triple-A Omaha is ending its season, to Kauffman Stadium, the place he was honored by the Royals because the George Brett Minor League Hitter of the Year.

The Royals’ high prospect admitted, although, that he would have somewhat been in a jersey. He has two video games to settle some unfinished enterprise.

“I’m targeted on these subsequent two video games I received,” Witt Jr. stated. “Try to win … perhaps get a stolen base.”

On Thursday, he stole what would have been his thirtieth base of the season, however rain suspended and subsequently cancelled the sport following three innings of play. It received’t be made up, so all statistics accrued have been worn out. Witt Jr. now has two extra video games’ value of alternatives to steal No. 30 and formally change into the seventh participant previously 20 years to publish a 30-home run, 30-double, 30-steal season.

The 21-year-old shortstop is hitting .293 with 33 homers, 35 doubles and 29 stolen bases by way of 121 Minor League video games this yr.

“I need it fairly unhealthy,” Witt Jr. stated, cracking a smile. “I’ve received to get on base first.”

Before president of baseball operations Dayton Moore and normal supervisor J.J. Picollo offered Witt Jr. and Jackson Kowar, who was named the Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year, with their awards, Witt Jr. visited the Royals’ clubhouse. Then he took within the recreation from a set along with his household after speaking to reporters about his season.

“It’s been unimaginable,” Witt Jr. stated. “I’ve discovered so much nearly myself, not solely on the sector however off the sector. How to get myself in good routines and the best way to get my physique proper to play every day.”

Witt Jr. was named MLB Pipeline’s place prospect of the yr for the Royals due to his all-encompassing offensive potential. Kansas City needed him to get a full yr of enjoying time underneath his belt after solely enjoying 37 video games as a rookie in 2019 and never having a Minor League season in 2020.

That’s precisely what he’s achieved, and in consequence he’s set himself as much as transfer ahead in 2022.

“As good of a spring as he had, there have been nonetheless plenty of unanswered questions,” Royals supervisor Mike Matheny stated. “As assured as he seemed, there have been nonetheless issues I feel he wanted to show to himself. … He dealt with himself completely this spring, represented himself properly, performed rather well. I feel all people round right here, and the followers, noticed sufficient to be actually excited.”

Witt Jr. started the season on the alternate coaching website earlier than becoming a member of Double-A. He had a sluggish begin, displaying swing-and-miss tendencies. But issues began to click on in June and he took off from there. The greatest adjustment was extra psychological than bodily, in addition to along with his strategy.

“I attempted to make it so simple as attainable,” Witt Jr. stated. “Go on the market and hunt my pitch. If I get it, swing at it. If I don’t, take the walks once I can. Put balls in play, hit them exhausting. That’s what I attempted to do all season. Get prepared and be on time.”

Witt Jr. was chosen to the Futures Game with teammate and Royals No. 3 prospect, Nick Pratto. Then, the 2 of them had been promoted to Triple-A, the place they continued their injury show.

Catcher and No. 4 prospect MJ Melendez joined them quickly after. The three of them mixed have hit 109 homers getting into Saturday’s penultimate recreation of the season.

Witt Jr. was fast to name-drop his teammates when requested what profitable the George Brett Award means to him.

“It’s unbelievable,” Witt Jr. stated. “Seeing George Brett’s identify on it after which seeing all the opposite guys in our group and what they did — MJ Melendez, Nick Pratto, the checklist goes on and on. I want everybody may very well be on that award. It’s actually an honor.”

Witt Jr. will head into what he described as a “large” offseason, making ready for an much more impactful 2022, when he’s anticipated to make his Major League debut.

But Witt Jr. isn’t targeted on when his time will come, solely that he’s ready when it does.

“I simply should preserve doing what I’m doing,” Witt Jr. stated. “I may watch their video games, have a look at the field rating, say, ‘I ought to strive to do that or this.’ But no, I simply should preserve doing me. Trust the blokes which are above me. So simply go on the market, have enjoyable, belief them. And go be able to carry out and attempt to win.”

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