Whit Merrifield
Whit Merrifield
30-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
Kansas City Royals
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Merrifield had plenty of skeptics after his out-of-nowhere 19-homer, 34-steal campaign in 2017, but the 30-year-old quieted his doubters and surpassed even the most optimistic projections. Though he noticed a minor power drop and a downturn in RBI largely fueled by the lack of talent flanking him, Merrifield improved by just about every other measure. Most of his value came from his .304 average and 45 stolen bases, with his production rendered more significant by the MLB-wide mean in both categories reaching their lowest levels since 1972. A .352 BABIP helped Merrifield uphold the lofty average, but he created some of his own good fortune by steadily raising his line-drive (29.8%) and hard-hit (36.9%) rates while posting a Statcast Sprint Speed that ranked in the 91st percentile. The team context around Merrifield won't be much better in 2019, but it may only further embolden manager Ned Yost to give him the green light to run. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a four-year, $16.25 million contract extension with the Royals in January of 2019. Contract includes a $10.5 million team option ($750,000 buyout) for 2023.
Sits for first time
2BKansas City Royals
April 17, 2019
Merrifield is not in the lineup Wednesday against the White Sox, Lynn Worthy of The Kansas City Star reports.
ANALYSIS
Merrifield will head to the bench for what appears to be a well-deserved breather after starting the first 17 games of the season for the Royals, slashing .311/.342/.486 with a pair of homers and five stolen bases in those contests. Chris Owings is starting at the keystone in this one, with Jorge Soler in right field and Lucas Duda at DH.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
13
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
4
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+15%
OPS vs LHP
2019
 
 
+1%
OPS vs LHP
2018
 
 
+26%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+3%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .885 347 62 11 29 29 .319 .366 .519
Since 2017vs Right .770 1070 120 22 117 55 .291 .341 .429
2019vs Left .851 19 5 1 2 4 .235 .263 .588
2019vs Right .843 61 9 1 6 1 .345 .377 .466
2018vs Left .945 197 34 5 15 18 .357 .406 .538
2018vs Right .750 510 54 7 45 27 .282 .352 .398
2017vs Left .800 131 23 5 12 7 .273 .321 .479
2017vs Right .780 499 57 14 66 27 .292 .325 .455
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+8%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+39%
OPS on Road
2018
Even Split
2017
 
 
+25%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .830 721 97 19 84 46 .303 .356 .475
Since 2017Away .766 696 85 14 62 38 .292 .339 .427
2019Home .759 57 10 1 6 4 .296 .333 .426
2019Away 1.058 23 4 1 2 1 .381 .391 .667
2018Home .804 347 46 5 33 28 .307 .370 .434
2018Away .808 360 42 7 27 17 .300 .365 .443
2017Home .871 317 41 13 45 14 .300 .344 .528
2017Away .698 313 39 6 33 20 .276 .304 .394
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Stat Review
How does Whit Merrifield compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
BB/K
0.44
 
BB Rate
5.0%
 
K Rate
11.3%
 
BABIP
.338
 
ISO
.173
 
AVG
.320
 
OBP
.350
 
SLG
.493
 
OPS
.843
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Royals Depth Chart
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Whit Merrifield
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Tuesday Picks
2 days ago
Mike Barner looks over Tuesday's 13-game Yahoo slate, providing his best recommendations for your DFS lineup.
FanDuel MLB: Tuesday Breakdown
2 days ago
Chris Bennett digs into a deep Tuesday slate and recommends using the red-hot Austin Meadows as the anchor for a Rays stack against the struggling Dylan Bundy.
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Monday Picks
3 days ago
Mike Barner tees up Monday's Yahoo slate, which includes Clayton Kershaw's return against the Reds.
FanDuel MLB: Monday Breakdown
3 days ago
With a few high-priced FanDuel pitchers facing difficult matchups Monday, Kevin Payne suggests putting faith in the struggling Aaron Nola.
Oak's Corner: Around the League
4 days ago
Scott Jenstad revisits some of his favorite ballparks and describes the past week in baseball, including Pete Alonso’s red-hot start.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
Merrifield led the American League in stolen bases last season despite spending the first couple weeks in the minors, and he showed a surprising power stroke after hitting a mere two homers in 332 plate appearances in 2016. A dramatic leap in flyball rate -- from 29.8 percent to 40.5 percent -- and correction in his HR/FB (and likely a new baseball) fueled the power breakout, although the hard-hit data suggests Merrifield overachieved. Moreover, Merrifield hit 13 of his 19 homers at home, and Kauffman Stadium was the fourth-worst park for homers last season; simply put, he will have a hard time repeating that home-run output in 2018. He doesn't walk much at all, but Merrifield puts the ball in play consistently (14.0 percent strikeout rate), and that skill along with his speed should help Merrifield stick atop the Royals' batting order. Unfortunately, there will likely be a significantly worse team around him with so many of Kansas City's top players expected to leave via free agency this winter.
Merrifield was deceivingly solid last season, but his future prospects are dimmed by the reality that his performance was buoyed by a high batting average with little in the way of peripheral stats, including just a 5.7 percent walk rate and a .109 ISO. The 28-year-old is likely to be soft on upside, and a repeat of last year's half-season performance over a full campaign would be a success. Whether the Royals allow the Swiss Army knife to accumulate that much playing time is another issue altogether. Positional versatility might be the biggest feather in Merrifield's cap as well as his greatest utility to fantasy owners in 2017, as it not only allows for some roster flexibility, but it also gives him more opportunities for playing time. However, he's unlikely to be more than a placeholder for the Royals, or for fantasy owners in 2017.
More Fantasy News
Swipes fifth base
2BKansas City Royals
April 13, 2019
Merrifield went 3-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and a stolen base in Friday's 8-1 win over Cleveland.
ANALYSIS
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Snaps 31-game hitting streak
2BKansas City Royals
April 11, 2019
Merrifield went 0-for-6 in Thursday's loss to Seattle.
ANALYSIS
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Sets new team hit record
2BKansas City Royals
April 10, 2019
Merrifield went 1-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and a stolen base in Wednesday's 6-5 loss to the Mariners.
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Hitting streak reaches 29 games
2BKansas City Royals
April 8, 2019
Merrifield went 2-for-4 with a run scored in Monday's 13-5 loss to Seattle.
ANALYSIS
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May see more outfield work
2BKansas City Royals
March 30, 2019
Merrifield will start in right field and lead off Saturday against the White Sox.
ANALYSIS
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