Whit Merrifield
Whit Merrifield
31-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
Kansas City Royals
2020 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#57
ADP
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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.
Leads offensive onslaught
2BKansas City Royals
August 7, 2020
Merrifield went 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, three runs, a walk and a stolen base in Thursday 13-2 rout over the Cubs.
ANALYSIS
Merrifield batted out of his customary leadoff spot and led a relentless Royals attack in the easy win, belting a two-run homer in the second inning and coming around to score another run after drawing a walk and stealing a bag in the second. The 31-year-old is enjoying another productive campaign at the plate, slashing .298/.344/.561 with four home runs and 11 RBI through 61 plate appearances.
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Batting Stats
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2020
2019
2018
2017
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
14
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
5
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+14%
OPS vs LHP
2020
 
 
+65%
OPS vs LHP
2019
Even Split
2018
 
 
+26%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018vs Left .893 423 72 14 45 28 .322 .371 .522
Since 2018vs Right .780 1103 137 18 101 39 .295 .352 .427
2020vs Left 1.250 18 4 1 2 0 .438 .500 .750
2020vs Right .759 66 12 3 10 2 .254 .318 .441
2019vs Left .814 208 34 8 28 10 .280 .327 .487
2019vs Right .810 527 71 8 46 10 .311 .357 .453
2018vs Left .945 197 34 5 15 18 .357 .406 .538
2018vs Right .750 510 54 7 45 27 .282 .352 .398
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+3%
OPS on Road
2020
 
 
+7%
OPS on Road
2019
 
 
+4%
OPS on Road
2018
Even Split
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018Home .800 744 107 11 71 41 .306 .361 .439
Since 2018Away .822 782 102 21 75 26 .299 .355 .468
2020Home .830 36 8 2 4 1 .281 .361 .469
2020Away .889 48 8 2 8 1 .302 .354 .535
2019Home .794 361 53 4 34 12 .307 .352 .442
2019Away .828 374 52 12 40 8 .298 .345 .483
2018Home .804 347 46 5 33 28 .307 .370 .434
2018Away .808 360 42 7 27 17 .300 .365 .443
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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
0.31
 
BB Rate
4.8%
 
K Rate
15.5%
 
BABIP
.305
 
ISO
.213
 
AVG
.293
 
OBP
.357
 
SLG
.507
 
OPS
.864
 
wOBA
.376
 
Exit Velocity
81.1 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
31.8%
 
Barrels/PA
3.8%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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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
DraftKings MLB: Saturday Breakdown
5 days ago
Justin Bramlette breaks down the Saturday DraftKings MLB slate as Clayton Kershaw faces a weak-hitting Giants team.
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Friday Picks
6 days ago
Mike Barner checks in with his recommendations for Friday's slate, turning to a Phillies stack against the Braves,
DraftKings MLB: Friday Lineup Recommendations
6 days ago
At $4,900, Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette is considered a value play tonight against the Red Sox.
FanDuel MLB: Saturday Targets
12 days ago
If you’re hoping to punt/pay down for pitching, Chris Bennett says targeting Mike Fiers could work, as he faces a weak, though surging, offense in a pitcher's park in Seattle.
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Thursday Picks
14 days ago
Mike Barner gets into his picks for Thursday's eight-game main slate, recommending a Padres stack against San Francisco.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
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
Belts third homer
2BKansas City Royals
August 1, 2020
Merrifield went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and was caught stealing during Saturday's 11-5 loss to the White Sox.
ANALYSIS
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Drives in three more
2BKansas City Royals
July 28, 2020
Merrifield went 1-for-4 with a three-run home run Tuesday against the Tigers.
ANALYSIS
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Drives in three runs
2BKansas City Royals
July 27, 2020
Merrifield went 3-for-5 with a homer, a double, three RBI and three runs scored in Monday's 14-6 win over the Tigers.
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Limited impact in season opener
2BKansas City Royals
July 24, 2020
Merrifield went 1-for-3 with a stolen base during Friday's 2-0 loss to Cleveland.
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Set for more time in center field
2BKansas City Royals
March 18, 2020
Merrifield is expected to see more time in center field this season.
ANALYSIS
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