With a record of 29-74, the Kansas City Royals find themselves only one game ahead of the Oakland Athletics for the worst record in the MLB. While not expected to be serious challengers in 2023, there was hope that the Royals could have a couple breakout seasons and surprise some around the league. But the exact opposite has happened. With the second-fewest runs scored and the third-most allowed in the MLB, this has been a historically bad season for the Royals.
Here are the Royals trending up and down in 2023.
Bobby Witt Jr., shortstop: After a strong rookie campaign, Witt Jr. has shown improvements in his game in his second season.
A streaky hitter, he is slashing .253/.294/.442 with 39 XBH and 28 stolen bases in 2023 and has shown massive improvement on the defensive side. After committing 19 errors in 2022, he has only committed seven on the diamond this season.
While he will still need to work on his plate discipline as a top-of-the-order hitter, Witt Jr. is a special talent who has speed and power that rivals almost anyone at the shortstop position in the MLB. He could be the face of the Royals franchise for the next decade plus.