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Thursday, June 13, 2019

KC Royals sign No. 2 overall pick Bobby Witt Jr., commentary | The Kansas City Star

High expectations.

He walked into his introductory press conference on blue carpet, not water, which is the first sign yet that the hype of Bobby Witt Jr. may be exaggerated in some corners.

He is tall, strong, athletic and somehow still apparently humble. That’s a heck of a combination, and at some point you start to see how a high school star becomes a folk hero and how a folk hero becomes perhaps the best prospect in Royals history and without question a central part of the franchise’s attempt to climb up from the bottom one more time.

Before he even finished his high school career, Witt Jr. was rated the second-best shortstop prospect in more than 30 years by MLB.com — behind only Alex Rodriguez, and ahead of Chipper Jones, Manny Machado, Derek Jeter and others.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 13, 2019 at 10:12 AM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bobby witt jr., royals

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   1. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 13, 2019 at 10:39 AM (#5851371)
Royals better be in the market for an 8' tall 1B if Jr got Sr's control.
   2. Itchy Row Posted: June 13, 2019 at 10:39 AM (#5851372)
He walked into his introductory press conference on blue carpet, not water, which is the first sign yet that the hype of Bobby Witt Jr. may be exaggerated in some corners.
He only allowed you to think it was carpet.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 13, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5851391)
Witt has tools for days. I think he's going to be a really good one.
   4. Brian Posted: June 13, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5851416)
We got a glimpse of their current shortstop when he was playing in the World Series at just 2 years older than Witt is now. He didn't look like much then but as he matured and grew he became, now at 23 years old, one of the best players in the game today. He's certainly one of the most exciting players in MLB, with 30 extra base hits in 66 games.
   5. Skloot Insurance Posted: June 13, 2019 at 12:37 PM (#5851426)
Witt Jr. was rated the second-best shortstop prospect in more than 30 years by MLB.com.


This wording makes it sound like MLB.com has been ranking draft prospects for 30 years, when in fact they date back to the 2000s.

More accurately, Jim Callis assessed Witt at one of the great shortstop prospects. Callis has been covering the draft for 30 years, for most of that time at Baseball America.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 13, 2019 at 02:20 PM (#5851485)
Rodriguez and Witt top our ranking of the best shortstop prospects since 1987 (based on evaluations at the time of their Draft, not how their careers played out):


His ranking is:

1. Arod
2. Witt
3. Chipper
4. Machado
5. J-Upton
6. BJ Upton
7. Jeter
8. Tim Beckham
9. Swanson
10.Correa

Pretty lofty praise, and high expectations.
   7. JRVJ Posted: June 13, 2019 at 02:51 PM (#5851505)
Good for the Royals.

I'm not a Royals fan, but I enjoyed their 2014-2015 run tremendously, and would hope that they can get back to contention soon.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: June 13, 2019 at 05:11 PM (#5851559)
Meanwhile Lindor has shaken off the rust of his injury and is back at a 135 OPS+, a shot at another 30+ HR season (the lost time might cost him), plays excellent defense.

And woo-hoo! FTj is back! 7-20 with a couple of HRs since coming off the DL, a mere 1.6 WAR in 133 PA at 20 years old.

Vlad Jr got off to a bit of a rocky start but has been a very solid 287/333/517 over the last month.
   9. bfan Posted: June 13, 2019 at 05:27 PM (#5851565)
Well if he lands between ARod's 117.8 WAR and Chipper's 85.2, I am sure the Royals will be happy with that result.

It is funny how a team can luck out in their draft years. You get this year, where a crazily good catcher crops up and lets a player as skilled as this drop to #2, and then you get a year where you are #1 and you get Micky Moniak.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: June 13, 2019 at 05:30 PM (#5851568)
So I assume Brett wins the title as best Royals prospect ever although I have no idea how he would have been rated on draft day (he was a 2nd rounder so probably not super highly). Greinke, Appier, Damon would be their best 1st rounders of the last 30ish years (which is pretty damn good). The best since Greinke is Alex Gordon, also nothing to sneeze at.

Despite that impressive run of crapitude they've had the #1 overall only once ... and used it on Luke Hochevar. A pitching-heavy draft but they missed out on Longoria as probably the most obvious better alternative. (Also Kershaw, Scherzer and Lincecum further down.)
   11. Zonk Has Two Faces, Both Laughing Posted: June 13, 2019 at 05:52 PM (#5851579)
I think Andrew Miller was the consensus #1 talent pre-2006 draft -- but he had sky high bonus demands. He flamed out nearly as badly, but I think Brad Lincoln was also highly thought of.... indeed, if Callis' writeup for BA's final mock was right - LAD actually wanted Lincoln over Kershaw, but fortunately for them (and unfortunately for the Pirates), Lincoln went 4th.
   12. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 13, 2019 at 06:00 PM (#5851581)
I've gotten used to seeing sons of major leaguers appear and make me feel old. This is the first one that has made me feel young. Bobby Witt was recent enough that his son is only a high school senior?

Looks like he was 36 when Junior was born.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 13, 2019 at 06:26 PM (#5851588)

I think Andrew Miller was the consensus #1 talent pre-2006 draft -- but he had sky high bonus demands. He flamed out nearly as badly, but I think Brad Lincoln was also highly thought of.... indeed, if Callis' writeup for BA's final mock was right - LAD actually wanted Lincoln over Kershaw, but fortunately for them (and unfortunately for the Pirates), Lincoln went 4th.


Dayton Moore had been hired, but wasn't officially on the job for the '06 draft. Apparently the Royals asked him who he preferred of the two they were considering - Hochevar or Miller. DM thought Miller was an injury risk - I remember a lot of teams scared off by that and his bonus demands.

At the time, I thought Lincoln was the best pick!


Despite that impressive run of crapitude they've had the #1 overall only once ... and used it on Luke Hochevar. A pitching-heavy draft but they missed out on Longoria


I remember they won a meaningless sweep of the first place Tigers at the end of the '06 season that cost them the #1 pick that would've been David Price. Mike Moustakas wasn't a bad consolotion prize.
   14. Zonk Has Two Faces, Both Laughing Posted: June 13, 2019 at 09:23 PM (#5851640)
It's interesting -- but sadly, very tough to find -- reading material from drafts from days long ago about the boards PRE-draft.

It obviously becomes easy (and lazy) in hindsight to just look at the draft log and see the hits and misses, but I love being able to find things written about the draft classes prior to the draft in question.

Indeed, I was going to mention the ranking of Jeter as an all-time "top SS pick" -- and my memory was apparently faulty.... I.e., I don't recall Jeter being that highly touted. I vaguely remembered him as a consensus top 10 - but somewhat figured to be off to U of M. Googling leads me to realize that I was mistaken - he was that highly touted but yes, there were significant questions about whether he signable or not.

Anyway.... it just so happens that my workdays are currently spent driving a "semantic enrichment" program - essentially, going beyond search, beyond pure metadata, and working towards towards truly machine readable knowledge models.... which, I know, all sounds like buzzwords -- but I wish I worked with more baseball fans.... because this would be a perfect explanation of what it means and how it can valuable: I want PRE-draft reports... mock drafts, draft boards, news and notes on the then-upcoming draft class. This gets increasingly to the point of virtually impossible to find the farther back you go. A simple event-driven schema and meaningful date/event filtering would make this so much easier.... i.e., I want to read items about Derek Jeter BEFORE he was drafted... not hindsight retrospectives on him or his draft class.

I.e., you can find the mock drafts and top 100s fairly easily for say... the last 10 years if you form your search queries carefully enough.... but try pulling up deep dives from 20-30 years ago. It's damn hard.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: June 14, 2019 at 12:21 AM (#5851831)
Looks like you have to subscribe to get access to the written archive but I believe this is what you want Zonk.

https://www.baseballamerica.com/draft-history/mlb-draft-database/#/

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