Bobby Witt Jr.

Bobby Witt Jr.

Height: 6-1
Weight: 200 lbs
Age: 23
College: None
Kansas City Royals

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The ScoreAL Central team needs heading into winter meetings

theScore's MLB offseason team needs series breaks down every club's roster and key departures, along with how holes could be filled in free agency ahead of the Dec. 4-7 winter meetings. Division previews will roll out daily through Nov. 30.AL EAST I NL EAST I AL WEST I NL WEST I NL CENTRAL *Bolded names are players traded this offseasonChicago White Sox Nuccio DiNuzzo / Getty Images Sport / Getty2023 record: 61-101 (4th in AL Central)Projected 40-man payroll: $136MKey departures: Tim Anderson, Elvis Andrus, Mike Clevinger, Liam Hendriks, Yasmani Grandal, Trayce ThompsonNeeds: Infielder, starting pitcher, relieverWhere the lineup stands ORDER PLAYER POSITION fWAR 1 Andrew Benintendi (L) LF 0.0 2 Andrew Vaughn 1B 0.3 3 Luis Robert Jr. CF 5.0 4 Yo n Moncada (S) 3B 1.2 5 Eloy Jim nez DH 0.4 6 Oscar Col s (L) RF -1.3 8 Paul DeJong SS 0.3 8 Nicky Lopez 2B 1.1 9 Korey Lee C -0.7 New White Sox general manager Chris Getz admitted in early November that he didn't like the roster and that it wasn't "well-rounded." The White Sox appear willing to listen to calls for anyone on the roster, and it wouldn't be surprising if Jim nez is wearing another uniform come Opening Day. Robert should require a massive return, but Getz wouldn't be doing his job if he wasn't willing to see what the market is for a star of that caliber coming off a career year. DeJong was brought in as a much cheaper alternative to Anderson.How the rotation looks Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty ROLE PITCHER THROWS fWAR 1 Dylan Cease R 3.7 2 Michael Kopech R -0.9 3 Touki Toussaint R 0.5 4 Michael Soroka R -0.4 5 Jared Shuster L 0.1 The White Sox are hoping a fresh start can help Soroka pitch closer to what he showcased in 2019 before a slew of injuries derailed his career with the Atlanta Braves. Acquiring Soroka, Shuster, and a few other pieces for a reliever was a heady move considering where the White Sox are heading in 2024. The Dodgers are one team reportedly showing interest in Cease, and the time could be right to maximize the return on a pitcher who has registered a 3.7 fWAR in each of the past three seasons.Cleveland Guardians Icon Sportswire / Getty Images 2023 record: 76-86 (3rd)Projected 40-man payroll: $94MKey departures: Kole Calhoun, Enyel De Los Santos (SD), Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo L pez (ATL), Cal Quantrill (COL), Mike ZuninoNeeds: Reliever, outfielder, shortstopWhere the lineup stands ORDER PLAYER POSITION fWAR 1 Steven Kwan (L) LF 2.9 2 Andr s Gim nez (L) 2B 3.6 3 Jos Ram rez (S) 3B 5.1 4 Josh Naylor (L) DH 2.5 5 Ram n Laureano RF 0.7 6 Bo Naylor (L) C 2.4 7 Kyle Manzardo (L) 1B Rookie 8 Brayan Rocchio (S) SS -0.6 9 Myles Straw CF 0.4 The Guardians took a major step back in 2023 after a surprising run to an AL Central title the season before. Cleveland still struggles to score runs and hit home runs, an area the front office should be aggressively trying to upgrade this winter. Manzardo has tremendous potential and could help solve some of the offensive issues if he can emerge at first base in 2024.How the rotation looks Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty ROLE PITCHER THROWS fWAR 1 Shane Bieber R 2.1 2 Triston McKenzie R 0.2 3 Tanner Bibee R 3.0 4 Logan Allen L 1.7 5 Gavin Williams R 1.1 New manager Stephen Vogt's rotation is stocked with homegrown pitchers. McKenzie will hope to rebound from an injury-riddled 2023. The emergence of Bibee, Allen, and Williams could increase the chance of a Bieber trade. With just one year of club control remaining, the Guardians should aim to trade the 2020 AL Cy Young winner if they don't feel they can work out an extension.Detroit Tigers Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty2023 record: 78-84 (2nd)Projected 40-man payroll: $74MKey departures: Matthew Boyd, Jose Cisnero, Austin Meadows, Eduardo Rodr guez, Jonathan Schoop, Spencer TurnbullNeeds: Second base, third base, catcherWhere the lineup stands ORDER PLAYER POSITION fWAR 1 Parker Meadows (L) CF 1.0 2 Riley Greene (L) RF 2.3 3 Spencer Torkelson 1B 1.4 4 Kerry Carpenter (L) DH 2.2 5 Mark Canha LF 1.6 6 Matt Vierling 3B 1.2 7 Zach McKinstry (L) 2B 1.2 8 Javier B ez SS 0.8 9 Jake Rogers C 2.2 The Tigers finished a surprising second in the division thanks in large part to key contributions from homegrown talent like Greene, Torkelson, and Carpenter. The trio appear to be franchise cornerstones to build around in the lineup moving forward. B ez unsurprisingly decided to opt in to the remaining five years of a contract that isn't showing much upside. Detroit seems committed to spending again this winter and could aim to take advantage of a weak division.How the rotation looks Brace Hemmelgarn / Getty Images Sport / Getty ROLE PITCHER THROWS fWAR 1 Tarik Skubal L 3.3 2 Kenta Maeda R 1.5 3 Matt Manning R 0.6 4 Reese Olson R 1.5 5 Casey Mize R DNP Detroit's rotation has endured numerous injuries over the past few years. It's hard to know what Mize might provide coming off a long-term absence. The Tigers inked Maeda to a two-year, $24-million contract and will hope the veteran right-hander can help replace Rodriguez's production. Detroit has surprisingly been among the teams reportedly showing some interest in free-agent right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto. His age (25) and skill set would be an ideal fit for the Tigers and a great complement to Skubal atop the rotation.Kansas City Royals Ed Zurga / Getty Images Sport / Getty2023 record: 56-106 (5th)Projected 40-man payroll: $71MKey departures: Matt Duffy, Zack Greinke, Brad Keller, Jackson Kowar (ATL), Josh Staumont, Nick WittgrenNeeds: Starting pitcher, outfielder, relieverWhere the lineup stands ORDER PLAYER POSITION fWAR 1 MJ Melendez (L) LF 0.0 2 Bobby Witt Jr. SS 5.7 3 Salvador Perez C -0.3 4 Vinnie Pasquantino (L) 1B 0.0 5 Nelson Vel zquez RF 0.7 6 Michael Massey (L) 2B 0.5 7 Edward Olivares DH 0.4 8 Kyle Isbel (L) CF 1.1 9 Maikel Garcia 3B 1.9 Witt enjoyed a breakout sophomore season, emerging as one of the game's brightest young stars. The Royals and Witt have engaged in some long-term contract discussions this offseason, and locking him up should be general manager J.J. Picollo's top priority. Pasquantino's expected return from a season-ending shoulder injury should provide a nice boost to a Royals lineup looking for talent to put around Witt. Kansas City ranked 24th in OPS and 26th in home runs last season, so upgrades are needed at almost every position.How the rotation looks Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images Sport / Getty ROLE PITCHER THROWS fWAR 1 Cole Ragans L 2.4 2 Brady Singer R 1.9 3 Jordan Lyles R 0.2 4 Daniel Lynch L 0.3 5 Angel Zerpa L 0.1 Ragans' emergence after being acquired from the Texas Rangers was one of the few bright spots in another dreary season in Kansas City. Beyond Ragans, there are major question marks in the rotation, as has often been the case over the past few seasons. The Royals should be aiming higher than a floor-raising move like the signing of Lyles last offseason. This is a rotation in dire need of legitimate impact.Minnesota Twins David Berding / Getty Images Sport / Getty2023 record: 87-75 (1st)Projected 40-man payroll: $125MKey departures: Joey Gallo, Sonny Gray (STL), Kenta Maeda (DET), Tyler Mahle, Emilio Pag n, Donovan Solano, Michael A. TaylorNeeds: Outfielder, starting pitcher, infielderWhere the lineup stands ORDER PLAYER POSITION fWAR 1 Edouard Julien (L) 1B 2.8 2 Royce Lewis 3B 2.4 3 Jorge Polanco (S) 2B 1.5 4 Carlos Correa SS 1.1 5 Max Kepler (L) RF 2.6 6 Byron Buxton DH 0.7 7 Matt Wallner (L) LF 1.9 8 Ryan Jeffers C 2.7 9 Willi Castro (S) CF 2.5 The Twins entered the offseason with some momentum after winning a first playoff series in more than two decades. That optimism appears to be short-lived, however, with president of baseball operations Derek Falvey confirming the club will look to trim payroll with uncertainty surrounding its television broadcast rights. A lot is riding on Buxton's ability to bounce back from persistent knee trouble to return to center field after not appearing at that position in 2023. The club will likely seek outfield insurance once again.How the rotation looks Daniel Shirey / Major League Baseball / Getty ROLE PITCHER THROWS fWAR 1 Pablo L pez R 4.5 2 Joe Ryan R 2.2 3 Bailey Ober R 2.4 4 Chris Paddack R 0.1 5 Louie Varland R 0.1 Minnesota will be hard-pressed to replace Gray's All-Star contributions. It's crystal clear that free-agent starting pitchers will be in high demand, which will make life difficult for Falvey and general manager Thad Levine if they're unable to open the checkbook. If the Twins can't look externally for rotation improvements, it will be incumbent on Ober, Paddack, and Varland to take the baton and run with it, or the 2023 success could prove to be fleeting.Copyright © 2023 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Source: The Score
Wednesday, Nov 29, 2023

The ScoreOhtani makes history with 2nd unanimous AL MVP win

Was there ever any doubt?Two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani cruised to his second AL MVP award Thursday, becoming the first player ever to win two MVP awards unanimously. Ohtani, who also received every first-place vote in 2021, swept Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager and second baseman Marcus Semien to claim this year's honor.Here's how the top five voting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America shook down: Player 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Points Shohei Ohtani 30 420 Corey Seager 24 6 264 Marcus Semien 5 8 11 3 216 Julio Rodr guez (SEA) 8 10 6 197 Kyle Tucker (HOU) 1 4 5 9 178 Ohtani enjoyed another transcendent year for the Los Angeles Angels as both a designated hitter and starting pitcher in 2023. The 29-year-old hit 44 home runs with 95 RBIs and a career-high 1.066 OPS as a hitter. He led the AL in homers, OBP, slugging, OPS, OPS+, and total bases despite missing most of September because of an elbow injury.On the mound, he posted a 3.14 ERA and 1.06 WHIP with 167 strikeouts across 23 starts. He also threw his first MLB complete game and shutout, and held opponents to a .184 average.This is the seventh AL MVP won by an Angels player. Five of those have been claimed by Ohtani and his superstar teammate Mike Trout over the last decade.Ohtani is the 12th unanimous AL MVP winner. He's the 16th multi-time winner in the Junior Circuit, and 29th in both leagues. The last two-time AL MVP was Miguel Cabrera, who won back-to-back honors in 2012 and '13.Ohtani also becomes the third pitcher to win multiple MVP awards, joining Hall of Famers Hal Newhouser (1944 and '45) and Carl Hubbell (1933 and '36). A fourth Hall of Fame hurler, Walter Johnson, won two MVPs before the modern version of the award began in 1931. The Japanese superstar remains the only primary DH to win an MVP since the position was created in 1973.Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Yandy D az, Kansas City Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., Baltimore Orioles infielder Gunnar Henderson, O's catcher Adley Rutschman, and Cleveland Guardians third baseman Jos Ram rez rounded out the top 10 of voting.This marks the first time in the modern MVP award's history that the winners in both leagues were unanimous. Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acu a Jr. swept the NL MVP vote.Copyright © 2023 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Source: The Score
Thursday, Nov 16, 2023