Bobby Witt Jr. hasn’t finished his high school baseball career, but he’s already done his dad — a former big league pitcher — one better.
The University of Oklahoma signee from Colleyville, Texas, was chosen Monday by the Kansas City Royals with the second overall pick in the 2019 Major League Baseball draft.
Witt went one spot higher in the draft than his father did 34 years ago. Bobby Witt, a former OU standout pitcher, was chosen third overall by the Texas Rangers in 1985. He played 16 big league seasons and was part of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 2001 World Series championship team.
Witt was the only player with Oklahoma ties chosen through the first 63 first- and second-round selections. Another 15 players were due to be chosen late Monday before the draft breaks to continue on Tuesday.
Jenks pitcher/shortstop Bryce Osmond, rated the No. 53 prospect by MLB Pipeline, had not heard his name called. Osmond has signed with Oklahoma State University and said he won’t mind playing for the Cowboys and pursuing a degree if that’s how it works out.
Bobby Witt Sr. was on the sofa Monday as a huge group of friends and family members gathered with his son to watch the draft from Texas on the MLB Network.
“He’s been there always for me, growing up, and just throwing me (batting practice) and it’s been a blessing to have him handle my life,” Witt Jr. told a television interviewer. “And now I’ve got him beat.”
Father and son are the seventh duo in MLB draft history to have both been taken in the first round and the first pair to go so high.
A 6-foot-1, 185-pound shortstop/pitcher, Witt batted .519 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs through his first 36 games this season, helping lead Colleyville Heritage to the semifinals of Texas’ Class 5A baseball playoffs.
Heritage plays Corsicana at 4 p.m. Thursday in Frisco’s Dell Diamond ballpark. The winner plays Saturday for the state championship.
Gatorade’s 2019 national high school player of the year, Witt was part of USA Baseball’s U18 national team last summer and was MVP of the COPABE Latin American championships. He also won a home run derby in Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
Witt stands to make a lot of money. According to Baseball America, the suggested singing bonus for the No. 2 overall pick is $7,789,900.