SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Northwest Arkansas Naturals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. was named Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year.
Witt Jr. played his first 61 games with the Naturals, hitting .295 with 16 home runs and 51 runs batted in. At the time of his promotion to the Omaha Storm Chasers, Witt Jr. led all of Double-A Central with 137 total bases and 50 runs batted in.
Witt Jr. continued to excel in his first season of professional baseball once promoted to Triple-A Omaha. Across 123 games between Double-A and Triple-A, he has maintained a .290 batting average (144-for-497) while stealing 29 bases and leading Minor League Baseball in extra-base hits (72).
The 21-year-old ranks second in the Minors in total bases (286) and runs scored (99), fourth in home runs (33) and runs batted in (97) and fifth in hits.
Witt Jr. is the fourth Royals player to have won the award, following RHP Tom Gordon (1998), 3B Alex Gordon (2006) and OF Wil Myers (2012). Like Witt Jr., Myers won the award after starting the season in Northwest Arkansas before receiving a promotion to Triple-A Omaha to finish the season.