Bobby Witt Jr. Climbing Royals' All-Time WAR List for Shortstops

The shortstop is just in his third season with the Royals and has made a huge name for himself.
Jun 7, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. (7) slides into third base for a triple during the ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium.
Jun 7, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. (7) slides into third base for a triple during the ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium. / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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In just his third season with the Kansas City Royals, shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. has made history in more ways than one.

He's now climbing the list of wins above replacement (WAR) for shortstops in team history. He's almost in the second all-time position on the list with a 9.2. Witt is close to passing Rey Sánchez, who holds a 9.3. Witt has a long way to go to reach the top WAR position for shortstops in Royals history, though, as Freddie Patek leads the list (1971–79) with a 20.5.

A player's WAR is determined by the value they hold in the team's wins based on how many wins the player is worth over a replacement-level player at the same position. The formula is based upon this equation: "The number of runs above average a player is worth in his batting, baserunning and fielding + adjustment for position + adjustment for league + the number of runs provided by a replacement-level player) / runs per win," per MLB.com.

Through 67 games in 2024 so far, Witt ranks No. 2 in MLB for batting average (.319), No. 2 with hits (86) and No. 4 for stolen bases (19). He's hit 11 home runs and scored 56 runs.

Last season, Witt invented the 30-30 club in the Royals franchise by becoming the first player to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a single season in the team's history.

The 23-year-old signed the team's biggest contract extension in history back in February when he agreed to an 11-year, $288 million deal with the Royals.


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Madison Williams

MADISON WILLIAMS

Madison Williams is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated, where she has covered the entire sports landscape since 2022. She specializes in tennis, but covers a wide range of sports from a national perspective. Before joining Sports Illustrated, Madison worked with The Sporting News. She hails from Augustana College and completed a Master’s in Sports Media at Northwestern University. Madison is a dog mom and an avid reader.