Welcome back for another installment of the 2022 Dynasty Baseball Player Of The Week, where we'll be discussing Kansas City Royals prospect Bobby Witt JR.
Last week's post started in the following way..."As the lockout goes on, my optimism has actually grown!" Welp, I was completely wrong, and I am not a sad baseball fan. I am disappointed with both sides. I understand the players are "right," but there really needs to be some more give and take on both sides.
There is a real possibility that baseball loses a massive group of fans. They are really the boys of summer, and if their season begins in, let's say, in late May or early June, that is when the playoffs in the NHL and NBA playoffs begin. People will more than likely pick that over a Red Sox vs Orioles game.
It is with slight hyperbole I say that baseball may be officially in trouble.
2022 Dynasty Player Of The Week: Bobby Witt Jr.
The Chosen One (two)
The 2019 draft was absolutely loaded at the top. It started with soon to be your number one fantasy catcher Adley Rutschman , followed by Bobby Witt Jr, and finally Andrew Vaughn. These top three will contribute to the majors for the next decade-plus.
Witt was picked number two overall in that draft. However, going into the draft, he was viewed as having one of the highest ceilings of anyone available. Witt was head and shoulders the best high school player available in the draft. This was a no-brainer for a team like the Royals. Royals GM stated that scouting him and watching him grow throughout the draft process was an honor. During his draft year, he took home numerous accolades like High School Derby Champ. MVP of the Under Armor All-American Game, just to name a few. In many cases, we see these awards and think, well, there is no way he can live up to these expectations.
Witt showed up to rookie ball and did not set the world on fire. He hit for a decent average of .262 and an OBP of .317. This left some to be desired but again this was just an 18-year-old kid. The main issue with the 2019 draft class was the fact that in 2020 we had the pandemic season. This led to the cancelation of minor league season, and players were left to develop at the alternate training site. It was hard to gauge how the class of 2019 was doing at these alt sties. However, it wouldn't be long for us to see some stunning footage on social media of Witt looking like a real MLB player.
2021 was the time for Witt to show what he developed at the Alt site, and boy did he. Between AA-AAA, he just missed a 30-30 season short of one stolen base. He held a batting average of .290 and a stellar OBP of .361. This is why scouts were going gaga over Witt. The guy kid can hit; as I stated early, Witt can also run! Between the two levels, he stole 29 bases and was caught 11 times as a fantasy manager. Stolen bases can be a hidden gem when it comes to categories.
Now, this brings us the age-old question, can/will this translate to the big leagues and can he help you win! Well, the answer to all of those questions is yes! Witt has the chance to break camp (if we have one) with the Royals. He would be an instant starter for the team, and you can plug him into your lineup as you see fit. However, we often see young players take a little longer to fully adjust to major league pitching.
The term patience is crucial when it comes to dynasty baseball. As a Witt owner, you must live through the inevitable slump through the first month or two of the season. Owners will try their best to pry him away while he is slumping. I am here to say HOLD HOLD HOLD! Now, even more so, patience will be essential for the Royals as well. They most likely will be patient with their budding superstar. Giving constant at-bats is the only way to become comfortable in the MLB box.
In recent negotiations for the new CBA, there are talks about teams being rewarded for having rookies on their team for opening day. This would be an excellent benefit for Witt and is something to look for!
On service time, with @Ken_Rosenthal:
• Top 2 Rookie of Year vote getters can get a full year of service.
• A team that brings up a player for Opening Day can net 3 draft picks over time, one pick per year, if that player does well in voting
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 9, 2022
Witt is currently ranked 25th in Daves rankings; he is sandwiched between Julio Rodrigues and Jarred Kelenic. This is about where most other evaluators have him as well. It's always hard ranking a top prospect like Witt because of the major league players him. In this case, DeGrom, Eloy, Woodruff, and Bieber. I would take those all but Eloy over Witt.
However, It all depends on team makeup, If you are a rebuilding team or on the cusp of competing, you should be adding Witt or holding Witt. If you are a team that is about to win a championship, I would also be holding. However, if you are a middling team, I would move Witt for a few pieces and hopefully help fill out your roster a bit.
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