Shortstop Bobby Witt Jr.
Shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. had an outstanding performance in the 2023 season, making him the top player for the Royals. Now, he faces the challenge of proving that his exceptional performance was not a fluke.
There is nothing new left to be said about Witt's 2023 season. He received AL MVP votes, just like he did in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2022. He came very close to hitting 30 home runs and stealing 50 bases. His 4.4 bWAR was the highest among Royals players aged 23 or younger since 1999. It was an amazing season. But a franchise is only as good as its sequel. What will Witt have in store for his 2024 season?
Kings of Kauffman will begin making predictions and projections for every Royals player in late February, so no spoiling that. But all of baseball is expecting big things out of Bobby Baseball in 2024. At least statistically speaking. Royals fans shouldn't expect Witt to be a vocal leader, but his ability to set an example for his peers will have a significant impact on the team in the 2024 season. This intangible quality will greatly influence the performance and dynamics of the Kansas City Royals.
Bill James has not figured out how to quantify leadership or vibes, but multiple players will say that playing winning baseball is more fun. But what happens when the losses pile up and the season is going nowhere? That is when competitors like Witt step up and keep players focused and accountable to each other and themselves. That is the way, off the diamond, that Witt will help these Royals improve in the coming season.