Claim #2: Bobby Witt Jr.'s glove is better after the 2022 struggles.
Royals fans are all too familiar with Witt's defensive struggles during his rookie campaign. Witt is a five-tool player, but that glove tool did not translate immediately to the big leagues. His 11 fielding errors tied for the most among all MLB shortstops, and his fielding percentage was the 13th-worst in the league too. The arm strength was there, and he amazed fans with some highlight-worthy throws. But all in all, Witt was far from an average defensive shortstop.
There were calls from the stands that the Royals should consider moving Witt to third base. It made sense, even if Witt was not a great defender there either. Quatraro silenced those doubters quickly this winter, calling for patience and more time for Witt.
"I think there was some technique things — footwork, body position. I think really it just came down to reps, and I think getting more reps at the big-league level is going to be the thing that helps him the most."- Royals manager Matt Quatraro
So far, Quatraro's decision has looked great for 2023. He only has two errors this season, well above the league's worst shortstops. A .976 fielding percentage is nothing to go crazy over, but it is a notable improvement from his rookie campaign. Witt looks more collected in the field, something that can only happen with practice and experience. Witt still trusts his arm more than he should at points, but all the metrics and the eye test say Witt is a better defender by far.