We are not that far away from the 2019 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Every team understands how important the draft is. Just look at how All-Star pitchers like Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel are still free agents. Part of the reason for that is if a team signs them prior to the draft, they will have to forfeit a pick.
However, now is the time to talk about future All-Stars. Many players will soon take the first step in their professional careers, and the futures of franchises will be altered for better or worse. One young man available in this draft who people believe could one day be a star is shortstop Bobby Witt Jr.
Bobby Witt Jr. 2019 MLB Draft Profile
Witt, who will turn 19 in June, has long been projected as the top high school player in this draft. Listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, he plays at Colleyville Heritage High School in Colleyville, Texas. He is committed to playing at Oklahoma, but he is expected to be a very high draft pick. Some have projected the Kansas City Royals to select him with the second overall pick. This assumes the Baltimore Orioles do what they are expected to in selecting catcher Adley Rutschman out of Oregon State with the first overall pick. If Witt Jr. is selected that high, it may be difficult for him to turn down the opportunity to begin his pro career now.
Bobby Witt Jr – Strengths
Witt is considered a five-tool player. He is a plus defender and should be able to stick at shortstop. He complements good hands and range with a strong arm. He also has great speed, having clocked a 6.40-second 60-yard dash. At the plate, Witt, a right-handed batter, can hit for both average and power and has shown an ability to drive the ball to all fields.
Genetics is also in his favor. His father, Bobby Witt, was the third overall pick of the 1985 draft by the Texas Rangers as a pitcher. Witt won 142 regular season games over a 16-year MLB career and won a World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001.
Bobby Witt Jr – Weaknesses
It is difficult to nitpick a profile as well-rounded as Witt’s. The only thing you might wonder about is if he may have to add some bulk to his frame in order to hit for plus power in the big leagues. However, fans have seen players like Francisco Lindor develop into a 30 home run hitter with a similar frame.
Anytime a team has the second overall pick, they hope the player ends up being a superstar. A player who can one day help change the fortunes of a franchise that just had such a bad season that they are picking second overall. Recent second overall picks include players like Alex Bregman (2015) and Kris Bryant (2013), both of whom played big roles in turning downtrodden franchises into World Series champions. If Bobby Witt Jr is drafted that high, his new team will surely be dreaming that he will one day help do the same for them. If he can fulfill his five-tool potential, a good comparison would be Carlos Correa.
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