Whit Merrifield

Whit Merrifield

32-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
Kansas City Royals
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Two-hit Whit continues to be a steady producer for fantasy players. It says something when a .282 batting average is a hitter's career-worst effort as was the case for Merrifield in 2020. The low average is not due to him striking out because his 12.5 K% last season was a career-best. It is just that Merrifield puts a lot of balls into play with a high-contact and declining-walk-rate approach, so his batted-ball fortunes pull his average one way or the other. Both in 2017 and 2020, his hit rate was at league average and his batting average was in the .280s. In 2018 and 2019, he had more dying quails, duck snorts and seeing-eye singles which pushed his batting average north of .300. He is a threat to run any time he is on base, and he is seemingly on base twice a game. Models of statistical consistency and health like this are rare; roster with confidence that he continues his course. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#34
ADP
$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.
Logs three hits Friday
2BKansas City Royals
October 2, 2021
Merrifield went 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored in Friday's 11-6 win over Minnesota.
ANALYSIS
Across his last nine games, the second baseman is batting .314 (11-for-35). Merrifield hasn't attempted a stolen base since Sept. 11, and he hasn't successfully notched a theft since Sept. 8. He's slashing .279/.319/.397 with 40 steals, 10 home runs, 74 RBI and 97 runs scored across 711 plate appearances, and he's on track to play in every game for the third straight season.
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Batting Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
112
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
50
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+2%
OPS vs LHP
2021
 
 
+2%
OPS vs LHP
2020
 
 
+4%
OPS vs LHP
2019
Even Split
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019vs Left .772 455 72 12 49 31 .280 .325 .447
Since 2019vs Right .760 1257 167 23 129 41 .292 .334 .426
2021vs Left .720 196 30 3 18 18 .276 .316 .403
2021vs Right .708 524 67 7 56 22 .277 .317 .391
2020vs Left .800 51 8 1 3 3 .298 .353 .447
2020vs Right .766 206 29 8 27 9 .280 .320 .446
2019vs Left .814 208 34 8 28 10 .280 .327 .487
2019vs Right .810 527 71 8 46 10 .311 .357 .453
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+5%
OPS on Road
2021
 
 
+6%
OPS at Home
2020
 
 
+44%
OPS on Road
2019
 
 
+4%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019Home .744 852 125 12 78 38 .288 .333 .410
Since 2019Away .784 864 115 23 100 34 .291 .331 .453
2021Home .733 363 54 5 36 19 .285 .328 .405
2021Away .689 357 43 5 38 21 .269 .305 .384
2020Home .633 128 18 3 8 7 .244 .297 .336
2020Away .913 133 20 6 22 5 .328 .361 .552
2019Home .794 361 53 4 34 12 .307 .352 .442
2019Away .828 374 52 12 40 8 .298 .345 .483
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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.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.39
 
BB Rate
5.6%
 
K Rate
14.3%
 
BABIP
.309
 
ISO
.117
 
AVG
.277
 
OBP
.317
 
SLG
.395
 
OPS
.711
 
wOBA
.311
 
Exit Velocity
81.7 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
27.2%
 
Barrels/PA
3.4%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Whit Merrifield
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3 days ago
Bernie Pleskoff shares his MLB club rankings, and he offers hope to the No. 27 Orioles, as catcher Adley Rutschman could turn things around in Baltimore.
The Z Files: Dissection of an Early Draft Part One
36 days ago
Todd Zola breaks down the picks he made with Derek VanRiper in his first draft of the 2022 season, including the surprising (for him) selection of a pitcher in the first round.
The Z Files: Playoffs Primer, Part 1
59 days ago
Todd Zola helps prepare you for postseason baseball by offering pointers on how to rank players like Kevin Gausman in playoff leagues.
The Z Files: An Early View of the First Round
70 days ago
Todd Zola gives his early thoughts on potential first-round picks in 2022 drafts and thinks Trea Turner deserves strong consideration for the top spot.
FanDuel MLB: Saturday Targets
75 days ago
Lance McCullers comes at a reasonable discount, plus he's gone for 40 plus FanDuel points in consecutive outings and at least 29 in five of his last six.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
Merrifield ranked among the top 40 hitters in rotisserie baseball last season, but he was a second-rounder on average in the NFBC last March because of the 45 he posted in the SB column the year before and was a bit of a letdown at that acquisition cost. He was thrown out on the basepaths as many times as he was in 2018, in 25 fewer attempts. Perhaps because of his diminished efficiency, Merrifield's attempts were scaled back as the season wore on (20 attempts in the first half, 10 after the break). While Merrifield is relatively new to the scene, he's already going to be 31 on Opening Day and speed is usually the first skill to go as a player advances to this stage on the aging curve. The rest of the numbers look pretty safe given his bat-to-ball skills and expected volume, but if his SB chances are reduced further under new manager Mike Matheny, Merrifield will fall closer to the pack at second base.
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.
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
Records three hits in win
2BKansas City Royals
September 26, 2021
Merrifield went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and a run scored in Sunday's 2-1 win over Detroit.
ANALYSIS
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Another three-hit effort
2BKansas City Royals
September 15, 2021
Merrifield went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored in Tuesday's 10-7 win over Oakland.
ANALYSIS
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Logs three hits in win
2BKansas City Royals
September 13, 2021
Merrifield went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI in Sunday's 5-3 win over the Twins.
ANALYSIS
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Steals base No. 40
2BKansas City Royals
September 9, 2021
Merrifield went 3-for-5 with a double, three runs scored and a stolen base in Wednesday's 9-8 loss to the Orioles.
ANALYSIS
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Notches 39th steal
2BKansas City Royals
September 8, 2021
Merrifield went 1-for-5 with a double, a stolen base and a run scored in Tuesday's 7-3 loss to Baltimore.
ANALYSIS
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