Armed with new deal, Witt in line to make more history in '24

February 5th, 2024

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Given the number of milestones and records that has to his name through just two big league seasons, it's fair to wonder what the Royals superstar has in store for 2024, especially now that he's cemented his status as face of the franchise by signing a historic extension.

But before we try to tackle which records he might topple next, let's take a quick look back at what Witt has accomplished to this point.

Witt burst onto the scene as a rookie, racking up 20 homers and 30 stolen bases in 2022. He was just the second player in AL/NL history with a 20-30 campaign in his debut season -- and he did it all at the age of 22.

Fast forward to last year, and Witt upped his totals to 30 home runs and 49 stolen bases to become the first player in franchise history with a 30-30 season. But it's not just Royals history -- Witt is quickly reaching unprecedented heights across the Majors as a whole.

Witt is the only player in AL/NL history to start his career with consecutive 20-30 seasons. In fact, even without limiting it to a player’s first two seasons, he's in extremely rare territory. Only five other active players have multiple 20-30 seasons at any point in their careers: Mike Trout (three), Ronald Acuña Jr. (two), Jose Altuve (two) and Trea Turner (two).

But now, consider the totality of what Witt has accomplished through two seasons: 50 home runs and 79 stolen bases.

To put that in perspective, not only is he the only player to reach those totals through two seasons, but only four other players have had 50 homers and 79 stolen bases through their first three seasons. Those four players are Bobby Bonds, Barry Bonds, Trout and Oddibe McDowell.

Even if Witt has just another 20-20 campaign this season, he'll remain in a category of his own. No player has hit 70 homers and stolen even 90 bases through three MLB seasons.

"It's just motivation to just keep getting better each and every year," Witt said after hitting one of his many 2023 milestones.

So what type of numbers can we expect from Witt in 2024?

"I feel like if you set a goal, then there's no way you can keep going," Witt said last season. "So whatever happens, happens. Just keep going."

Witt may not want to put specific numbers out there, but that certainly won't stop us from having some fun with it. Using the Steamer projection model on FanGraphs, Witt is forecast for 30 homers and 42 stolen bases in 2024. That would bring his career totals to 80 home runs and 121 stolen bases through three big league seasons.

Not only has no player had 80 homers and 120 stolen bases through three seasons, but nobody has ever reached each of those totals in even their first four seasons. In fact, only three players -- Alfonso Soriano, Hanley Ramirez and Andrew McCutchen -- have totaled 80 home runs and 120 steals in their first five MLB seasons.

With 11 more years guaranteed in a Royals uniform, it's safe to say we'll be discussing Witt milestones for a long time to come.