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Bobby Witt Jr. makes history to close out his debut year

Kansas City Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. #7 throws to first on a grounder hit by Cleveland Guardians #8 Gabriel Arias during the sixth inning at Progressive Field on October 3, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio.
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Kansas City Royals infielder Bobby Witt Jr. was born to make history.

At a time recognized as the best prospect in all of baseball, he finally got a chance to showcase his great talent in early 2022 and he did not disappoint.

Due to the emergence of Julio Rodriguez and Adley Rutschman as the best freshmen in the AL, Witt has virtually no chance of winning the AL Rookie of the Year award.

However, that doesn’t take anything away from him in what has been an impressive debut season.

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He made history this week, in fact, because of his combination of power and speed.

Only five rookies in the history of the game have finished a season with at least 20 home runs and 30 stolen bases.

He is one of them.

Also, only three Royals in history have those numbers, and he is one of them too.

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some room to grow

Witt still has some aspects of his game to improve to break through among MLB’s elite: His ability to draw walks (a sub-.300 OPS was a bit of a disappointment) and defense continue to make progress.

However, there is no mistaking his power and speed.

His bat speed and power hitting actually suggest he could bump that home run count closer to 30 next year, and he has enough speed to steal 30-35 bases for at least the first few seasons of his career.

It will all come down to skill on base and defense with him.

Overall, he’s had an impressive first season, posting a .254/.295/.431 slash line, 20 home runs, 30 steals, 82 runs and 80 RBIs.

He’s an important member of the Royals’ young core and should help the team return to relevance sooner rather than later.

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