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Kansas City Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. nominated for top MLB award

Kansas City Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. continues to solidify his place among Major League Baseball’s elite players.

Witt was nominated as a finalist for the 2023 All-MLB team on Wednesday following his historic campaign.

Witt is on the All-MLB team ballot for the second consecutive season. He was also previously nominated for a Silver Slugger Award last week.

Voting is now open at mlb.com for the 2023 All-MLB team. Fans can vote for their favorite nominee until Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. Central. The selection process consists of 50% fan vote and the other half from a media panel vote.

“Definitely special,” Witt said. “Fell short of making an All-Star, but then being able to get nominated for this, it’s one of those goals that you have ever since they put it in, I think in 2020. It’s an honor just to be able to be on the ballot and be in the running.”

Witt had a terrific 2023 season. He became the first Royal to join the exclusive 30-30 club with 30 home runs and 49 steals. Witt also recorded 177 hits and led the majors with 11 triples.

There were plenty of special moments as well.

Witt hit an inside-the-park home run and a walk-off grand slam this season. He also became the first MLB player to record at least 20 home runs and 30 steals in his first two seasons to begin a career.

Witt also went on a tear during the summer months. He hit .327 with 32 hits in July before exploding in August. Witt produced nine home runs, 22 RBIs, and a blistering 1.015 OPS (on-base plus slugging) in 27 games.

“This is the goal to be in this contention each and every year,” Witt said. “Just try to make sure to stay healthy. That’s pretty much the ultimate thing for all of us who stay healthy, put up numbers and you are going to be right in this spot each and every year. So really, it’s just an honor and motivation just trying to stay at that level of baseball.”

Witt is quickly ascending toward MLB stardom. He is considered to be alongside other young MLB stars like Ronald Acuña Jr., Corbin Carroll, Adley Rutchsman and Julio Rodriguez.

Along the way, Witt has learned from talented veteran players. He was around Team USA in the World Baseball Classic and interacted with MLB superstars such as Mike Trout. He mentioned learning how to be consistent as he prepares for the 2024 season.

“I think that’s the biggest thing,” Witt said. “Just finding what you’re not great at and trying to learn and build off that and get better. I think that if you’re already having success and you keep doing that, you’re just gonna keep having success.”

The 2023 All-MLB team will be announced on Dec. 16. There will be one player selected at each infield position and at designated hitter. Three players will be selected at the outfield spots, five players for starting pitchers and two players for reliever positions.

There will also be a first and second team that comprise the winners.

Royals captain Salvador Perez has earned first-team All-MLB honors twice since its inception. Meanwhile, Zack Greinke made the All-MLB second team as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros in 2019.