High School Baseball

Bobby Witt Jr., No. 2 pick by Royals, wins Gatorade National Male Athlete of the Year

Just when Bobby Witt Jr.’s summer couldn’t get any better, it did on Tuesday night.

The second overall pick by the Kansas City Royals was named Gatorade National Male Athlete of the Year. He’ll join female athlete of the year Kelley Lynch (Sharpsburg, Ga.) on the cover of the next issue of Sports Illustrated.

Witt and Lynch, who is a Washington signee from Georgia, accepted the awards a banquet in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Both will be at the ESPY’s on Wednesday.

Witt had an incredible stretch to begin the summer where he graduated from Colleyville Heritage, helped the Panthers reach the state tournament for the first time, helped the program win the 5A championship in record fashion, was drafted and signed for nearly $7.8 million by the Royals, won the Gatorade Texas and National Baseball Player of the Year awards, and went 3-of-6 during his professional debut with the Arizona League.

Witt batted .500 this season at Heritage with 63 hits, 37 going for extra bases, 15 home runs and 44 RBIs while recording a .575 on-base percentage and 1.095 slugging percentage. Witt added eight triples and 16 stolen bases.

He was named District MVP, all-state and All-American.

The Panthers reached the UIL state tournament in Round Rock in June. They defeated Corsicana in the state semifinals before winning the title over hometown Georgetown, 14-2 in six innings.

The Panthers set a 5A state tournament record with 18 hits in the championship game.

Witt, who was surprised with the National Baseball award by Texas Ranger legend Michael Young, went 3-of-6 in his pro debut on June 30. He added an RBI, two runs and a stolen base.

Witt is the son of former Ranger Bobby Witt Sr.

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.