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Okay, I now fully buy into Bobby Witt, Jr.

After one game, I believe.

MLB: JUL 20 Astros at Royals Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

June 4th, 2019. Doesn’t that seem forever ago? The Royals had lost 104 games the previous season, and were granted the #2 overall pick for the 2019 amateur draft. There was a little debate over who the Royals would take with names like Andrew Vaughn or perhaps even C.J. Abrams floating around, but the consensus for some time had been that they would select Bobby Witt ,Jr. The Royals did not surprise.

Witt was a prototypical Royals prospect with many labels you’ve heard time and time again associated with Royals prospects: toolsy, speedy, athletic, good hands. Considered a five-tool player (speed, fielding, throwing, hitting, power), Witt was the consensus top high-school player, winning the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year*. He is projected to stick at shortstop and could be a 20-20 player in the future.

*past winners include Zack Greinke, Alex Rodriguez, Clayton Kershaw and Lance McCullers Jr...

I knew all of this before watching the exhibition game against the Astros Tuesday, but this was my first chance to see Bobby Witt, Jr. for more than a single at bat or play.

Witt went 2-for-3 with a double, 2 runs scored, an RBI, 2 walks and a stolen base. He also had a couple of slick-fielding plays at third, including a diving stop in the eighth.

Throughout multiple at bats he never seemed over-matched by the opponent. And let’s pause a moment and discuss the fact that he worked 2 walks. I know this was an exhibition game, but two walks is still two walks. In his career, Mondesí has walked twice in just two games. Royals hitters as a whole haven’t really taken walks. Since 2010 the Royals team walk rate is 6.8%, dead last in the majors, and this includes their 2014/2015 seasons. The walks from a 20-year old getting his first taste of big league action are a big part of why I am so high on him now.

I want to be clear, I don’t think Witt is ready to start for the Royals. Or, more accurately, I think starting Witt in a pro-rated, shortened season with little chance at post-season success is jumping the gun a lot. It looks to me like Witt is nearing major-league ready, and would probably benefit from facing the best pitching in the world, but I’m not ready to start his clock unless it’s necessary.

It’s fair to worry about his future, especially given the Royals apparent inability to develop players. And it’s easy to look back at previous failures (though Bubba Starling is looking good, too) and worry the Royals have fallen prey again to tools over results, but (massive small sample size alert), the results look to be there.

The Royals are forming a core to potentially compete in the near future. Brady Singer is breaking camp with the big league club, Jackson Kowar is looking almost ready and was touching 98/99 in his outing this week. Daniel Lynch still has all the potential in the world. Mondesí looks to be at least a slightly above-average player, with massive untapped potential.

Add in Witt and his potential and performance thus far and for the first time in a long while I can look ahead to the future with some actual hope of success. And it’s largely based around the idea that I think Witt is a future All Star.