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Bobby Witt Jr. Newsbeat

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Witt becomes first Royal in 30-30 club: ‘No one like him’

Witt became the first Royal with a 30-30 season, but his 49 steals this season make him just the fifth player in Major League history to have 30-plus homers and 49 or more stolen bases in a season, joining Eric Davis (1987), Barry Bonds (‘90), Mike Trout (‘12) and Ronald Acuña Jr. this year.

“Pretty special,” Witt said. “It was great. First inning was fun to get things going. Nine-run lead, I haven’t seen that ever really. … Special anytime you get to be the first.”

Witt is just the second player in Major League history with 30 home runs and 49 steals at age 23 or younger, joining Trout in 2012, who did it at age 20.

The closest call for a Royal to join the 30-30 club actually did achieve the feat, but he was traded midseason—Carlos Beltrán in 2004, when he was traded from the Royals to the Astros. He came close in ‘02 as a Royal, when he hit 29 homers and stole 35 bases.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2023 at 09:33 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: bobby witt jr., royals

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Bobby Witt Jr. May Be 2023’s Best-Kept Secret

Witt isn’t in the ultra-superstar tier yet, but his 2023 season has improved his projections to the point that he can legitimately be considered one of the default All-Star options at shortstop for the next five to seven years or so.

It’s not just his offense that’s taken a step forward; so has his defense, which was one of the sticking points in his profile as a prospect. It wasn’t a sure thing whether he’d be at short instead of third base long term; RAA (-7), DRS (-18) and UZR (-7) all hated his glove work last year, and his defensive numbers at third only grading out as “mediocre” was another negative data point. ZiPS is designed to be fairly conservative with the magnitude of its defensive projections for players with little experience, but it certainly thought that Witt was well below average defensively entering the season. But he’s improved by double digits in all the defensive metrics this season while exclusively playing short — enough that ZiPS thinks we should be confident now that he’s a league-average defender at the position, a noted improvement.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 16, 2023 at 05:10 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: bobby witt jr., royals



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