Royals prospects Witt, Melendez, Pratto, Marsh playing against Missions at Wolff Stadium

Bobby Witt Jr. watches his home run sail out at Wolff Stadium on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. He is a shortstop for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and one of the Kansas City Royals' top prospects. - photo by Joe Alexander
Northwest Arkansas’ Bobby Witt Jr. watches his home run sail out at Wolff Stadium on Wednesday.
Some players who are likely to be a big part of the Kansas City Royals’ future are playing in San Antonio this week.

Bobby Witt Jr., the No. 2 pick in the draft just two years ago, had a big night in the Northwest Arkansas Naturals’ 3-2 victory over the San Antonio Missions on Wednesday at Wolff Stadium. Witt had a double, triple and home run for the Naturals – the Double-A farm club of the Royals.

The Naturals are playing a six-game series against the San Antonio Missions that runs through Sunday at Wolff Stadium.

Alec Marsh was the starting pitcher on Tuesday for the Naturals. Northwest Arkansas catcher MJ Melendez had a home run in Tuesday’s game. First baseman Nick Pratto is also a home run threat.

Marsh, Pratto, Melendez and Witt have all been high picks by the Royals in recent drafts and are all highly regarded prospects.

Witt has 11 homers on the season and is batting .257 with 19 RBIs in 34 games. He was drafted out of Colleyville Heritage High School in Colleyville, Texas (DFW area) in 2019. He played in rookie league in 2019 and this is his first season above that level.

Witt’s name should sound familiar. His father, Bobby Witt, pitched 16 seasons in the majors including 11 with the Texas Rangers. The senior Witt had a 142-157 major league record with a 4.83 ERA.

Melendez is batting .265 with 11 home runs and 23 RBIs in 31 games this season. Melendez was a second-round pick, No. 52 overall, in the 2017 draft as a high school player in Miami.

Pratto is batting .306 with 11 home runs and 26 RBIs in 34 games in his first season above Class A. He was a first-round pick in 2017, No. 14 overall, as a high school player from Huntington Beach, Calif.

Marsh fits the Royals’ pattern of using high draft picks on pitchers from major college baseball programs. He was taken No. 70 overall in 2019 out of Arizona State. This is his first season above Class A and he has a 1-3 record with a 4.97 record in six starts. He pitched 1 2/3 innings against the Missions on Tuesday and allowed one run, one hit and two walks with three strikeouts.

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