Bobby Witt Jr. told a group of reporters that he’d hardly been sleeping lately, after winning a high school state championship and being selected by the Kansas City Royals in two weeks’ time.
Lack of sleep hasn’t affected his dreams, though.
“I’ve been dreaming about this, and I’m still dreaming about it,” Witt said. “Dreams are starting to become reality.”
Witt rarely relinquished an ear-to-ear smile while being introduced as the Royals’ newest farm system star Wednesday. He was picked No. 2 overall in the recent Major League Baseball Draft and won’t attend the University of Oklahoma, which had long been obvious.
He is literally worth millions to Kansas City.
Multiple outlets reported that Witt received the pick’s full slot value — a $7,789,900 payday. According to MLB Network’s Jim Callis it’s the second-highest MLB bonus ever, second only to pitcher Gerrit Cole, who signed with the Pirates for $8 million as the 2011 top overall pick.
In 41 games this spring, Witt batted .489 with 55 RBIs and 15 home runs for Colleyville (Texas) Heritage High School. The Sooners would have loved to see him in a college uniform like his dad, Bobby Witt Sr., who pitched at OU and was chosen No. 3 overall in the 1985 draft before a 16-year pro career.
The Royals have eyed his son for some time.
“They truly respect their players,” Witt Jr. said of the organization. “They were out there for every single one of my games, no matter what if it was 40 degrees or hailing or sleeting, it just shows the respect they have for me and my family as well, what they’ve done for us.”
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Pat Mahomes has achieved celebrity status in the area. Witt brought up his Sooner ties when asked about Mahomes during Thursday’s press conference.
He mentioned the 2016 OU-Texas Tech game where the two teams combined for 1,708 yards of offense. Mahomes set FBS records of 819 yards of offense and 734 passing yards.
“Him going to Texas Tech and me being an Oklahoma Sooner fan, I was always kind of rooting against him a little bit,” Witt said laughing. “The plays he made in those games when he and Baker [Mayfield] were going back and forth, putting up 60, 70 points a game. He’s a playmaker.”
Of OU’s 11 players or high school signees picked in the MLB Draft, at least four so far have opted to remain with the Sooners: high school signees Connor Beichler, Jake Bennett, Dane Acker and junior reliever Braidyn Fink.