Kansas City Royals’ Bobby Witt Jr. is the best shortstop in baseball, says former MVP

As of Thursday morning, the top three players in Wins Above Replacement on the Baseball Reference website are shortstops.

The Orioles’ Gunnar Henderson and DodgersMookie Betts are tied for first (3.7), followed by the Royals’ Bobby Witt Jr. (3.5). Tied for 10th is another shortstop: the Yankees’ Anthony Volpe (2.7).

Witt, 23, leads the majors in runs scored (49) and is first in the American League in hits (69). He’s also second in MLB in triples (six) and tied for fourth in stolen bases (16).

Statcast’s Outs Above Average shows Witt is first in the majors (nine). Volpe (seven) was last year’s Gold Glove Award winner.

Witt’s sensational season has caught the eye of a former standout shortstop: Jimmy Rollins.

During his 17-year career, mostly with the Phillies, Rollins won four Gold Glove awards, a Silver Slugger Award and was a three-time All-Star. He also won the 2007 National League MVP award.

Rollins was on Bleacher Report’s “Swing or Take” show and was asked if Witt is the best shortstop in the majors. Rollins pondered the question for a moment then said Witt is the top at his position.

“The man is out there balling,” Rollins said. “He’s doing everything you want as an offensive player and is a great defensive player. He has speed. He has leadership quality. And he’s, I can’t say the only reason, but he’s a huge reason why the Kansas City Royals are doing so good this year.

“And people around me can say I’m biased towards shortstops. I think it’s one of the most important positions on the field outside of the top two, which is pitching and catching as they control the game. But after that, I feel everything else falls on us. And he takes that responsibility and his talents out there on the field every day, and he hasn’t let us down.”