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Third-Year Infielder Becomes First Player to Reach Unique History

The Kansas City Royals are off to their best start through 50 games since 1976. Their superstar shortstop, Bobby Witt Jr., played that role in Tuesday’s game’s second inning. He took Casey Mize‘s splitter out to the upper deck of the left field fountains at Kauffman Stadium. The ball travelled at 468 feet, landing in the water for a three-run blast in an eventual 10-3 win over the Detroit Tigers. Witt’s two-homer night was the longest of his career by 25 feet, surpassing his mark of 443 feet in June 2022.

“I didn’t really watch it,” Witt told reporters. “I just started running.”

Running indeed. Witt’s wow factor put together a night of unique history.

Bobby Witt Jr. Makes MLB History for the Royals

His home run was the third-longest by a Royal at Kauffman Stadium. He’s behind Brandon Moss (474 feet in 2017), and Kendrys Morales (469 feet in 2015) and the seventh-longest at the ballpark by any player since 2015. But that’s not all. Witt made unique history in Tuesday’s game that no other player has done before. Per JayHayKid of the Baseball is Dead podcast, Witt is the only player in MLB history with at least seven home runs, six triples, 14 doubles and 16 stolen bases through the first 50 games of a season.

Witt also tied his career high with six RBI with his second homer and he wasn’t alone in the historic game. Maikel Garcia became the 24th Royal to have a two-triple game in the first three innings. It’s the first since Whit Merrifield last did so in 2019. Of that group, Garcia, Butch Davis (1983) and George Brett (1979) are the only three to have two triples in the first three innings of a game.

Building an MVP Case

The last time a player had 100 total bases, 15 stolen bases and 30 RBI was Barry Bonds in 1992. Bonds will be inducted into the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Fame later this summer. But for Witt, he’s building himself an MVP case as many are starting to realize his true potential, including his manager Matt Quatraro.

“It wouldn’t have surprised me if it would have been 500 (feet),” Quatraro said about Witt’s deep splash. “It seemed like it was a golf ball when he hit it and it was such a controlled swing, too. The power that he has for his size and when he gets going and catches the ball out front, it’s really impressive.”

Witt’s 27 extra-base hits are fourth in baseball, trailing Shohei Ohtani (31), Aaron Judge and Kyle Tucker (29).

Main Photo: © Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports


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