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Texas Native Witt Joins Home Run Derby Field

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— WRITTEN BY ANNE ROGERS, ROYALS.COM REPORTER —

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Royals.com) – Bobby Witt Jr. is no stranger to Texas-sized lights and attention.

The Colleyville, Texas, native grew up just north of Arlington, home of the Rangers and the franchise his dad, Bobby Witt, was with for 11 of his 16 seasons pitching in the Major Leagues. The younger Witt made a name for himself as a high school prospect in Texas by hitting home runs, stealing bases and playing elite defense.

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In 2024, he’s doing all those things and more as the Royals’ everyday shortstop and face of the franchise — and an MLB superstar. So it makes plenty of sense that the hometown kid will be stepping into that spotlight again on July 15, when he takes part in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Globe Life Field in Arlington on ESPN at 7 p.m. CT.

Witt announced his Derby participation on Monday, becoming the fourth player to announce his spot in the eight-player field behind Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson, Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm and Mets first baseman Pete Alonso.

The 24-year-old Witt is familiar with the 23-year-old Henderson, as both are shortstops and have been crossing paths as young prospects since high school. Witt and Bohm have hit together a few times in Texas this offseason.

When Major League Baseball approached Witt about participating this year, he thought back to all the Home Run Derby events he watched as a kid. He remembers Josh Hamilton’s epic victory in 2008 at Yankee Stadium, as well as Prince Fielder winning it in ‘12 at Kauffman Stadium.

“I’m just going to enjoy it, and whatever happens, happens,” Witt said. “Just have fun being back in Texas.”

Witt will become the fifth Royal to participate in the Home Run Derby and first since Salvador Perez in 2021, when the catcher blasted 28 home runs but lost to Alonso, the eventual champion, in the first round. The other Royals who have participated are Bo Jackson (1989), Danny Tartabull (’91) and Mike Moustakas (2017).

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