KC Royals: 3 reasons why Bobby Witt Jr. will win the Gold Glove Award

Could the shortstop strike gold in the offseason?
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The Halo Effect

I have to thank Alex Eisert of FanGraphs for this one. The halo effect is something that likely prevented Nicky Lopez from getting a Gold Glove nomination in 2021. Could Witt benefit from this though?

Encyclopedia Britannica defines the halo effect is an "error in reasoning in which an impression formed from a single trait or characteristic is allowed to influence multiple judgments or ratings of unrelated factors." Eisert used this and applied it to Juan Soto being a Gold Glove finalist last season, despite a so-so showing in the outfield.

"On average, a one-point increase in wRC+ corresponded with a 0.51-point decrease in OAA. Among Gold Glove finalists across the last two years, the trend was even more stark: a one-point increase in wRC+ corresponded with a 1.37-point decrease in OAA."

Alex Eisert, FanGraphs

The effect, as it applies to the Gold Glove, is that a player's positive offensive output will influence voters to think they are a good defender as well. This is where Lopez's 2021 season comes into play.

Shortstops Carlos Correa, J.P. Crawford, and Andrelton Simmons were the AL's finalists with Correa winning the award. Despite Lopez leading the group in fielding percentage, OAA, and runs prevented, he was not a finalist at least. The halo effect from Correa's bat, Crawford being on a winning team, and Simmons' defensive history likely pushed them over Lopez.

Overlooking Lopez's Gold Glove case in 2021 caused an uproar then, but could help out Witt his year. Royals fans are well acquainted with Witt's offensive output this season, whether it be with the bat or on the basepaths. Esiert talked about the wRC+ disparity when it comes to Gold Glove finalists.

Looking at Witt's wRC+, he is well above the wRC+ watermark at 117. He also leads AL shortstops with 47 stolen bases and ranks second with 29 home runs and 90 RBIs. Should that be taken into account when voting for a Silver Slugger Award? Sure! Should it factor into a Gold Glove Award? Not according to the criteria. But, the human mind is easily manipulated. The halo effect could break the Royals' way this year though.