FRISCO, Texas — NW Arkansas Naturals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. blasted a pitch 430 feet for his second homerun of the night on Tuesday, but the home plate umpire said he did not touch home plate.
The second-overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft had a career game Tuesday night against the Frisco Roughriders, scoring 3 runs, 3 hits, a stolen base and a homerun.
A video posted by the Naturals on Twitter shows the moment in question.
After watching the ball go past the lawn seats of Riders Field, Witt Jr. approaches home plate with a skip he has become known for and seems to tap his left foot on home plate, or so he thought.
After crossing home, Witt Jr. snaps his head back toward the plate, but he continues to the dugout to celebrate.
Home plate umpire Chris Presley-Murphy is in clear sight of the play and even bends down to wipe the plate clean while Witt Jr. is celebrating with his teammates.
Moments later, Roughriders pitcher Hever Bueno threw to catcher Matt Whatley who stepped on home plate and Witt Jr. was called out, instead of collecting his second homerun of the evening and increasing the Naturals lead.
Naturals manager Scott Thorman approached Presley-Murphy and exchanged heated words.
The play that signaled Witt Jr. out and gave him a 430-foot triple instead of a homerun caught the attention of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and part Royals owner Patrick Mahomes who posted a tweet: “Am I missing something?”
Witt Jr. responded to Mahomes confirming he in fact did touch home plate.
“Normally touch home with 2 feet so I was trying the NFL toe drag to get the second foot in!” Witt Jr. wrote.
A top MLB prospect, Witt Jr. plays for the Double-A Royals affiliate in 2021 as he waits for his number to be called up for the majors.
Witt Jr. was not alone in getting a homerun erased in the baseball world. Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Ke’Bryan Hayes went yard in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers skipped right passed first base and was called out after review.
In the month of June, the Royals prospect is batting .333 with 3 homeruns and 2 stolen bases.
In the 2021 season, Witt Jr. has a batting average of .254, 10 homeruns and a .544 slugging percentage.