Royals' Bobby Witt Jr. building MVP case

Wed May 22 12:52pm ET
Field Level Media

In case you needed confirmation, it's time to pay attention to Bobby Witt Jr. and the Kansas City Royals.

Off to the best start through 50 games since 1976, the Royals are celebrating every splash in the fountain and shuffling up the American League Central standings with 31 wins following the latest heroics by Witt.

He smacked two home runs, his sixth and seventh of 2024, and drove in six runs on Tuesday night in a 10-3 win over the Detroit Tigers to enter territory not many have touched. Those who have Cooperstown credentials.

At the 50-game mark, the last time a player had 100 total bases, 15 stolen bases and 30 RBIs was Barry Bonds in 1992. Bonds won his second MVP award that season with 34 homers and 103 RBIs in his final campaign with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Royals pitcher Michael Wacha said it's impossible not to watch the show Witt puts on each game.

"He's an unreal player. He kind of almost does something every night that you haven't seen on the baseball field," Wacha said.

Witt belted his first home run of Tuesday night into the upper deck fountains in left-center field at a distance of 468 feet. He said postgame he "didn't watch it land, I just started running." Only two other Royals have longer home runs in the history of Kauffman Stadium.

Teammates can't take their eyes off of Witt. His manager can't either.

"It wouldn't have surprised me if it would have been 500 (feet)," Matt Quatraro said. "It seemed like it was a golf ball when he hit it. It was such a controlled swing, too. The power that he has for his size, and when he gets going and catches balls out front, it's really impressive."

Witt doesn't want the focus on his statistics or prodigious pop.

He's fourth in baseball in extra-base hits with 27 entering Wednesday, trailing only MVP stock: Shohei Ohtani (31), Aaron Judge (29) and Astros' slugger Kyle Tucker, who is on a serious tear of his own with an MLB-leadng 17 home runs -- 13 in the past 30 games.

"We still aren't even to our full stride," Witt said. "We're still working to keep getting there. ... I think the guys are going out of their way to prepare more, and everyone's starting to buy in, knowing this team is special and we've got to keep moving."

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