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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Wander Franco's Off-Field issues

This is yet another intangible factor, but an impossible one to ignore. One of the sport's biggest young stars Wander Franco is a black eye on baseball right now. Could the MLB canceling his on-field contributions lead to an easier path for Witt?

After talking about the halo effect, Franco had the strongest such effect amongst AL shortstops. He rivals Witt in several fielding statistics, with 12 OAA himself and a .979 fielding percentage. Franco is a natural at shortstop and looked to be the future of the Tampa Bay Rays franchise. Now, the 22-year-old sits on administrative leave amidst investigations against him.

Franco last played baseball on Aug. 12, with questions swirling about his future with the MLB. But, for this season, MLB may not make Franco available for postseason accolades or strongly discourage it. If that is the case, that takes away Witt's strongest competition for a Gold Glove Award.

Do I think Bobby Witt Jr. is a lock for the award this offseason? No, nothing is a certainty in baseball. But, I think he is a betting favorite for a finalist spot at least. There are some defensive metrics, like Fielding Bible's total runs saved or SABR's Defensive Index, where Witt does not grade out well.

But, humans conduct the voting, not a computer. These three factors, and more, set up Witt's Gold Glove case for success. It will be interesting to see if this season's defensive performance is a one-season outlier or the start of something better. The Royals used to have a perennial Gold Glove contender at their respective position. Witt could be the next man up un a Royals uniform.