Advertisement

Kansas City Royals star Bobby Witt Jr. named American League Player of the Week

Kansas City Royals star Bobby Witt Jr. was called into manager Matt Quatraro’s office on Tuesday afternoon.

The message was a good one: Witt was named American League Player of the Week for the first time in his career.

“I said, ‘That is pretty cool. ... That’s awesome,’” Witt recalled. “And now we are on to a new week and we’ve got to keep it rolling.”

Witt is content to look ahead. After all, the Royals are off to a great start to the 2024 campaign, entering Tuesday at 34-21.

However, Quatraro knew it was important to celebrate the moment.

“When you realize how hard it is to win, it is pretty special,” Quatraro said. “Now, he was focused on the fact he made the last out last night instead of focusing on what he accomplished. But that tells you where his mindset is. Nonetheless, it’s a nice honor and something you are happy to bring somebody in to tell them something good.”

And it was a special week indeed.

Witt hit .385 (10 for 26) with two doubles, four home runs and 11 RBIs last week. In that span, his 24 total bases were tied for most in the Majors.

There were plenty of highlights as well. Witt hit two home runs against the Detroit Tigers on May 21 at Kauffman Stadium. One of those homers traveled 468-feet, which registered as the longest of his career.

“You gotta keep moving and build off the week,” Witt said. “Keep taking those wins and keep building off of those.”

Witt became the fourth Royals shortstop to win the weekly award. He joined Adalberto Mondesi (Sept. 21-27, 2020), Mike Aviles (July 28-Aug. 3, 2008) and Kurt Stillwell (May 15-21, 1988).

The last Royals player to win the award before Witt was Vinnie Pasquantino, who won it during the week of Aug. 8-14 2022.

“I’ve just got to keep taking it day by day, trusting my process and enjoy the moment,” Witt said.

Witt has enjoyed a monumental 2024 campaign. In February, amid a Royals offseason that included a roster makeover, Witt signed the biggest contract in club history — 11 years guaranteed at a value of $288.7 million.

Ahead of Tuesday’s game, Witt was hitting .309 (.570 SLG) with nine home runs, 36 RBIs and 16 stolen bases.